Frequently Asked Questions
At Winnipeg's River Heights School of Music we have had many similar questions come up about music lessons in Winnipeg. Hopefully the following FAQ will answer them for you.
Please feel free to call 204-487-3664 anytime to ask any question.
- Does it matter if I have never had any sort of music lesson experience?
No, we can take you from not knowing anything to achieving your musical goals
Yes we teach Beginners as well as experienced music Students
Yes we have a large number of adult students both beginner and more experienced
- What if I am somewhat experienced, will you make me start at the beginning?
No. What we try to do with experienced musicians is pick up from where they are. In some cases it may be necessary to backtrack over bad habits that may have crept in over time or through informal learning.
- Are adults harder to teach music than kids?
As most know, Kids are like sponges when it comes to new things but they need more monitoring around the issue of practicing and the fine motor skills aspect of playing a musical instrument. Things like hand and finger placement and arching, posture and issues around relaxing while playing. Adults usually have clearer musical goals, a good track record at sticking to things and are the ones actually paying for the music lessons. So their self expectations are high. They are adults and so the time to practice or the way they organize and prioritize their time can be an issue.
- Do I need a musical instrument to start lessons?
Yes. You'll need one the practicing that comes in between each lesson. For piano you can use a keyboard or piano, for drums you can use a drumset either acoustic or electronic.
- How long will it take before I can play something?
You will be playing ‘something’ the 1st lesson! Having said that, it takes time to be able to play music that sounds ‘complete’. New music students can be playing something familiar in as little as a few months. How long it takes to achieve your goals depends on how much time you put in, what instrument you have chosen and how lofty your goals are.
- Do you offer group lessons?
While most of our lessons are private we do offer semi-private guitar and voice classes as well as small group voice classes. We also have daytime pre-school music classes. This way we have something for everyone.
- Can we take music lessons every other week instead of every week?
At first this might seem like a good idea, but we have tried this in the past and we do not offer it. If you miss a lesson, it would be an entire month before you saw your music teacher again. It is really important that the teacher checks your progress and corrects your form every week. Secondly attending weekly music lessons will continue the learning momentum and generate mastering a skill more quickly.
- Can a parent ‘sit in’ on a music lesson, are they expected to stay away or always be there?
We have an open door policy. It is your choice whether to sit in, sit in the lobby or run some errands. Some music students find it distracting and some work better with Mom or Dad in the room. The teacher will give you some advice on this after they get to know your child.
Yes we have a FREE year end recital.
- What if our schedule changes?
In most cases a new time and/or day for your music class is possible.
- What instrument is right for me or my child?
For some there is the myth that the 1st instrument must be piano. This is patently false. If you choose piano for your child over their objections then it is your choice not theirs. If you let them choose then you will get a clear picture of their commitment level.
- Can we start in the middle of the year?
Yes. We have year-round open enrolment.
- I don't have any musical background or ability; can I still help my child practice?
Yes. Even if you don't have a musical background you can ask the teacher for advice on how to help your child practice. By simply monitoring that they are doing exercises a certain number of times per day the music student will progress. Many parents occasionally sit in on their child's music lesson to get an idea of the proper way a song should sound or how the student should be positioning their hands. As well you will be able to tell if your child is playing music or just ‘doodling’ on their instrument.