Frequently Asked Questions about the International Music Academy of Houston's Piano, Violin, Guitar, Cello and Early Childhood Lessons

What is the most important thing in learning to play an instrument?

We believe that finding the teacher best suited for you and building a strong relationship with that teacher will help you to succeed as a student.

What is special about your school?

Our school is run by professional musicians and teachers. We know firsthand the most important factor for success is for a child to have a joyful experience when playing music, and we apply that to our teachings. Having a good relationship with a great teacher is key! We do everything we can to foster that vital student-teacher relationship. When you call us for lessons, we don't just assign you a time slot, we ask about your goals and learn about your personality in order to find the best teacher for you or your family's needs.

We say the proof is in the pudding. Come hear our student recital and you will see the results of our work and what YOUR child is capable of doing as well.

How do I find a good teacher?

We are delighted that you found us! We put a lot of effort into selecting the best teachers for our program. Our main criteria for the teachers are: impeccable training and a love for teaching.  Unlike many music schools, our teachers all have degrees in their field, and teach their primary instrument only.  We also have monthly workshops where we discuss the goals for every student and the strategies to achieve them.  It provides unity to our program and secures continuity if students have to change teachers.

Families often come to us because they are disappointed that after years of instruction, their children are still not able to do basic things.  If you are not progressing at the rate you would hope, please come see us.  Any student who is willing to work and has a skilled instructor should see great progress year after year, not only in the difficulty of pieces played, but also in their beauty and musicality.

Take the time to visit our student recital.  You should see well-prepared students with memorized pieces who are able to perform with confidence and joy.  We are proud to say that the overwhelming majority (98%) of our students perform in these recitals. You will hear what EVERY child is capable of.

What is a good age for children to begin private music lessons?
It depends on the instrument and it depends on the child.  The standard guidelines are 5-6 years old for piano, 4-7 for violin and 8-9 for guitar.  These age ranges vary, however, from child to child based on physical development and motivation.  Call for a free evaluation!

What about the Early Childhood classes? 
Classics on the Move is a fun and accessible introduction into music for the 3-6 year old, using teaching methods based on the ideas of Dalcroze who focused on concepts of rhythm, pitch and structure as experienced through movement.  We are using the MusikGarten curriculum.

What do lessons cost?
Fees begin at $33.00 for a half-hour session of private instruction.  Classics on the Move is only $280 for the whole semester, meeting weekly for 45 min.

How long is each lesson?
There are options for 30 minute, 45 minute or 60 minute lessons.

Does there have to be an instrument at home for practice?
Yes.

How can I help my child be focused?
Change piano activities frequently; ensure practice; make sure that the child is well rested and comfortable while practicing. A snack before practice can also help. A hungry child is not a happy child.

Should I attend my child’s lessons?
Yes and we recommend that you remain in the practice room so you can recall instructions during at-home practice time.  For Classics on the Move, parents may wait outside the room during the class time.

Do I receive a refund if my child misses?
There are two make-up sessions available per semester. The teacher needs 24 hour notice in order to reschedule the lesson. There are no refunds for missed lessons.

Does the Academy offer group piano lessons?
We offer musicianship classes for younger children and theory classes. Learning to play an instrument requires private lessons. Students taking group piano lessons usualy progress too slowly and develop bad habits.

For piano lessons, are electronic instruments acceptable for practice?
They are okay, but not good. Even top of the line electric instruments don't have the same touch and range of sound color as “regular” pianos. When the student already has an electric piano at home we recommend starting lessons and using it for practice with the idea that the family would need to invest in a piano in the future (1-2 years).

Does the Academy rent or sell instruments?
No, we do not.

Do you teach adult students?
Yes, we love it! We have a group of about 20 committed adult students ranging from true beginners to fairly advanced students. They meet twice a year for an adult recital where everyone is encouraged, but not required, to perform.