1:Are All of Your Teachers Qualified?
Yes. All of our teachers must have at minimum a bachelor's degree in music performance or music education to teach at GMA. This can include universities, colleges, or conservatories. Our teachers are experienced teachers and are carefully chosen not only for their qualifications, but also for their ability to relate to the students. Our teachers are skilled in teaching beginners and advanced students. All teachers can proficiently prepare students for annual AIM theory and performance testing at Northwestern University, the IMA Music Contest and are members of MTNA.
2:When Can I Start Lessons?
3:Can I Sit in On My Child's Lesson?
4:How Do I Get My Child To Practice?
5:What is the Conservatory Program?
Private Lessons and classes are ongoing and can be started at anytime. While we are set up on a 15 week session schedule, new students may begin at any time at a prorated tuition rate. View the calendar under the "about" section above to view our current lesson and performance schedule. Call or email us to schedule a an assessment lesson with one of our professional teachers to see if GMA is the right fit for you and your family.
Yes, we have an open door policy and children love to know that they have mom or dad's support. It is your choice when to sit in. However, some students may find it distracting and some work better with Mom or Dad in the room. Your teacher will give you some advice on this after they get to know your child and their learning style. Suzuki lessons however, require parent involvement and there are many benefits to this especially for young beginners.
Students enrolled at GMA are encouraged to practice 5 days a week. Students in the conservatory program are required to practice 5 days a week. We know that every child and family's goals are differenet. The amount of time is to be discussed with your teacher. The most important thing you can do for your child is create a practice routine. Setting an expectation to practice every morning before school, or right after school before snack, or right after dinner before bed is the best thing you can do for your child. When an expectation to practice is set, a child is much more likely to succeed. Children under age 8 will need regular reminders to practice and should not be expected to find practice time on their own. It is up to the parents to set a practice schedule and aid them in their practice as needed. For children younger than 5, a daily routine is also important however the length of time at the instrument will be much shorter. The rule of thumb is to stop while the child is still having fun. This may be just 5 minutes of work a day on the instrument. We are are creating long lasting memories for the child at this age. If the practice routine is stressful, we could negatively impact their relationship to music for a long time. Work with your teacher to find out how to best work with your child at home.
The conservatory program is for children and families committed to their music study. The program raises expectations for children to be better musicians and work harder at home. The program consists of regular weekly lessons in addition to theory and performance classes throughout the year. Children excel in this program because of the group atmosphere and regular performances for their teachers and peers. Annual AIM exams at Northwestern University keep children motivated to continue to improve their theory and performance skills. Children aim to complete one level each year. When students pass a level, a pin is awarded and students begin to prepare for the next. There are 12 levels in total. In order to enter the conservatory program, students must have taken lessons for at least one year, either private or group, and commit to 5 days of practice each week, and the Saturday performance classes as noted on the calendar.