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Frequently Asked Questions

Greetings!

We would like you to feel comfortable talking with us. We are opening a page of Questions & Answers in a hope that it will help us get connected. You are mostly welcome to ask the questions you are  still having  via Email: trioschool2012@gmail.com.

Let us start with MUSIC!

I would like my child to play some instrument, but I don’t want her to become a professional musician. What options do you offer to those who are not planning to devote their entire lives to music?

We offer a wide range of opportunities to learn music without planning to pursue  a career in music. Our teachers, who have been trained in a traditional, classical way and also studied contemporary methodologies, can provide your child with music of different genres, including classical, popular, folk, jazz and blues, as well as music for  infants accompanied by their Moms,  and toddlers, whose parents learn together with their children  and become their home music teachers.

How much time does it take to learn how to play?

Those, who want to study music in depth and play serious pieces by great composers, are going to devote years to learning it. Our instructors had learned music before getting their degrees for many, many years. If you want your child to just get acquainted with some instrument, we’d suggest you start by enrolling your child in one of the instruments we teach. Since any musician can play piano at some level, we suggest our very beginners start by studying this instrument at least for six-eight months in order to develop their pitch and a sense of rhythm, and start to read music, unless they have already made a choice and are eager to start directly with a guitar or a violin.  The deeper one  gets into music, the stronger she feels a  desire to learn it.

 Does it matter if my child takes group of private lessons?

Oh, yes, it does.  Although our  age-based grouping ( age 6-8, age 8-10, age 9-12, etc)  helps the students  learn music theory and basic playing on an instrument better than the grouping that is popular at some  schools (   6 y.o. children are in the same group with 12 y.o. children) , we have to warn you that  the quality  of learning becomes lower with increasing the number of students. Group lessons for 6-8 students are good in case those students have a specific goal to learn basics.

If my budget doesn’t allow me to enroll my child in private lessons, but I still want  her to be harmoniously educated and to play music, what would you suggest I do?

We’d suggest you find a partners  for your child to enroll in semiprivate ( 2 students in class), small group ( 3 students in class), or group lessons ( 6+students in class). Please, visit our Registration page to learn more.

I have never been exposed to classical music. Why are most of  music schools so focused on teaching it?

First of all, the term “classical music” is too general. Why don’t we use the term  “serious music” instead? Yes, we teach serious music, as we know that fundamentals of it  are present in any kind of music. We want our students to be involved in the Serious Music Making from birth and even before. The process of learning starts with listening to music written by world known composers, singing and playing  nursery rhymes, which future moms come to learn. It continues  when they  come to class together with their newborns, where mother don’t only sing the nursery rhymes but also play them and perform bounces, wiggles, tickles, tapping and  clapping on their babies. This ALL is serious music, which is followed by  Preschool Music  classes and later leads to the program program “Mom & Me”,  where three-year-olds share their piano lessons with their mothers.  Our five-year-old students, if they have never been exposed to any music but popular songs for children, start playing piano, guitar and violin exactly from there–from familiar to them songs. In a piano class, they play accompaniment for those songs at the second lesson and go on to playing music by Mozart, Beethoven, Chaikovsky along the way of  being taught how to comfortably play familiar songs.

 My son has just turned 3. I can see it’s possible to enroll him in a piano class. There is no school that offers such an opportunity. Why should I believe it’s going to work out?

At Trio school, we are fond of an idea that the motivation for learning starts with parents’ motivation for educating their loved ones. Please, notice that  it’s  a “Mom & Me”, not just “Me” class.  Yes, our three-year-olds come for lessons together with one of their parents. The parent takes about 50% of a lesson time, and she/he has to be much ahead of the child pretty soon. While a parent is being taught, a child has a chance to choose between looking through some book or the participation in the lesson by singing, clapping hands, and marching. The rest 50% of the lesson  time is  devoted to our working  all together, and this time, the child is being taught while a parent is observing and learning about how to coach a child at home.  We don’t only use a grand  piano, but also mini keyboards, tuned hand bells, triangles and percussion instruments for teaching our youngest musicians.  Usually, a parent and a child are enrolled in 45-minute-long lessons to allow some time for our play-based activities. When home, they use the video-recorded materials in order to practice productively.   You are welcome to see our 3 year-olds on You Tube and to  observe such lessons! 

Do your teachers feel comfortable teaching advanced students?

Yes, our teachers have University degrees and many years of experience. Larysa Yost, our CEO, has been teaching piano since 1973. Many of her students have graduated from music colleges to become teachers of music. Our guitar teacher, Arina Burceva, is an accomplished performing musician, already known in the guitar world, who  couches students of all ages and levels and gives master classes to most advanced students.

Do you also teach adults? What methodology do you use for teaching very beginner adults?

Yes, we do teach adult of any age and level.  We strongly encourage them to try our classes. Younger adults can  learn very fast .  For older adults, we recommend  to choose  the pace they want to learn at. They can use a  slow pace,  that supposes going into the depth of music theory before actual playing on an instrument. Some of adults may prefer the  fast-paced, intensive teaching, with the  theory coming along  the  music they want to play.

 What method books do you use?

There are as many methods as students. We are strongly against the use of only one method. We think that using a single method book hinders the learning process. We are after intensive methodologies, and we help our students get needed sheet music by dozens of famous composers from our school library.

 Your rates are lower than many schools have in South Bay. Does it depend on the locations, the facilities you teach from, or maybe you have poor equipment?

Our school in located in the heart of Sunnyvale, at the intersection of Washington Ave and Murphy Ave, in the historical building, that has just  turned 100 year- old together with the City of Sunnyvale.  Several successful companies have their offices next to our school in this upscale building.  We use a baby grand piano for teaching as well as several keyboards for group lessons, and mini keyboards for preschool music classes.  Our preschool music program has a lot of instruments to use. Our new students can rent keyboards for 2-3 weeks free of charge.  We have several guitars, including the guitar made by Gil Carnal.  www.gilcarnal.com  Music & Dance

We don’t overprice our lessons  because we want them  to be affordable for any family.

 I’ve bought a  61-key keyboard. Is it enough to start with ?

Yes, you can start this way.  Hopefully, in a couple of months, you will purchase an 88- WEIGHTED key digital piano or an upright piano. It’s possible to get a FREE upright piano on craigslist!

If I am not ready to enroll my child in lessons but am considering several schools, what does your school can offer in order to help me make a decision?

You have two options to choose from: to observe a lesson before enrolling or to purchase only ONE trial  lesson. Good luck!

We would strongly recommend that you open Materials for Parents on BLOG page  Materials for Parents