1 - Does Music Education benefit my child or me?
2 - What method does Coppell Conservatory use to teach music?
3 - What is Coppell Conservatory's teaching philosophy?
4 - How do I enroll my child?
5 - How do I select a lesson category for my child?
6 - How do I choose a teacher and a lesson time?
7 - What criteria do I used to select a good teacher?
8 - How do I pay for the lessons?
9 - Why is there a yearly Registration Fee?
10 - Can my child have a trial lesson before I enroll him?
11 - Where do I get lesson books?
12 - Can I purchase just a few lessons for myself or to offer as a gift?
13 - Do I have to sign a contract for a long period of time?
14 - Can I attend my child's lessons?
15 - Are there progress reports and Parent-Teacher meetings?
16 - What is a Student Affiliate and why is there a Membership Fee?
17 - What is a Festival?
18 - Do students at Coppell Conservatory participate in Festivals and Contests?
19 - Do students at Coppell Conservatory participate in Recitals?
20 - Are there recital fees?
21 - What if I decide to change from group to private lessons?
22 - Will I get a credit for the weeks the Conservatory is closed?
23 - Can I make-up classes missed?
24 - Does Coppell Conservatory rent guitars? Violins?
25 - Do I need a piano at home?
26 - My child is 5, is he ready for lessons? What is the right age?
27 - How many lessons per week will my child attend?
28 - How often and how long should my child practice?
29 - How do I make my child’s practice worthwhile?
30 - What can I do to encourage my child to practice?
31 - How can I help my child?
32 - How long before my child can play [instrument]?
33 - What if my child wants to quit his/her Music Education?
34 - Does my child have to participate in contests?
35 - What is CMTA? TMTA? MTNA?
Scientific research has shown that there are actual physiological benefits to early childhood Music Education. Findings show that Music Education, particularly Piano instruction, in pre-school children produces changes in the brain which enhance their abstract reasoning skills (skills needed for learning mathematics and science, mastering engineering concepts, playing chess). Studies have linked piano/keyboard and singing lessons to enhanced spatial-temporal ability in pre-schoolers. A recent study demonstrates that early piano training helps to create and maintain certain “connections” in children’s brains that may not otherwise form. Musically educated children develop skills they carry into adulthood. Piano training can actually make children more intelligent. Students with coursework and experience in musical performance scored 51 points higher on the verbal portion of the SAT and 39 points higher on the SAT math portion than students with no coursework or experience with music. Can you think of any more precious gift to give the children in your life? In addition, Music Education is “the gift that keeps on giving”. As your child’s Music Education continues and extends to playing in groups, in recitals, or in competitions, one reward is the special camaraderie that often blooms between young musicians. This is readily seen in Coppell Conservatory’s Group Piano, Musicianship, and Performance classes. This often leads to friendships that last for years. The music instrument (piano, guitar, violin, etc.) can also be a source of stability in the turbulent teenage years. And as an adult, the poise and self-assurance developed by playing and performing at the piano has very tangible value in social and business worlds. There is also the chance that your child has an exceptional musical talent, in which case a whole world of possibilities, both personal and professional, can be recognized and nurtured. At what age should my child start music lessons? All children should be introduced to music at the earliest possible age, especially to Classical Music. In addition, it is never too late to study music; all of the benefits are there, in varying degrees, and everyone, regardless of age can learn to play an instrument. Click on Benefits to read about the Musical Benefits of music education and on More Benefits to read about the Non-Musical Benefits of music education.
What method does Coppell Conservatory use to teach music?
In general, Coppell Conservatory students start on the Faber Series and the Faber Method with supplemental material, as needed. The goal is to begin with a solid foundation in the basics, incorporating Sightreading, Technique and Artistry, Memorization, and Performance.
What is Coppell Conservatory's teaching philosophy?
Our Teaching Philosophy is to inspire our students to learn to play their instruments of choice to the best of their ability, according to each one's individual potential. We strive to instill a love of music and of learning in general.
How do I enroll my child?
Once you determine the category in which to enroll your child (or yourself) call the office at 972-304-8600 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to establish the availability of time; then complete the Registration Form and submit it with your payment to the Conservatory.
How do I select a lesson category for my child?
Based on your vision of your child's Music Education and the goals you wish for him/her to attain, our staff will give you recommendations, and you then will be able to determine the best category for your child.
How do I choose a teacher and a lesson time?
For your selection of Teacher and Day/Time, you will be provided a list of teaching times available for each teacher. Based on the age and the personality of the child, we will suggest specific teachers for your selection. In general, given that all of the teachers are highly qualified and experienced, parents choose on the basis of times that are most convenient for them.
What criteria do I use to select a good teacher?Why is there a yearly Registration Fee?
Selecting a good teacher is a major element in the success of a student’s Music Education. It is very important to choose an educator who, not only can teach your child how to play a given instrument, but genuinely cares for the student, provides musical enrichment experiences like performance opportunities (festivals, concerts, recitals, and competitions), encourages access to professional music concerts, and develops an overall appreciation of, and interest in, serious music. What may not be so apparent to parents and students is that these extra activities represent a major commitment of time and financial resources for the teachers and organizations that make them possible. This is especially noteworthy in light of the fact that only a small fraction of teachers make them available at all, precisely because of the time and financial burdens required to bring them about. Hence, the task of bringing these activities into being falls disproportionately on a few active and committed teachers and organizations. Coppell Conservatory has always been fully committed to these activities and makes them available to all of its students. We also support such enrichment experiences by making our school available, free of charge, for several activities, and our teachers volunteer to do the extra work necessary to put on competitions, festivals, recital, and several other activities.
How do I pay for the lessons?
We send invoices on or about the 20th of each month; payments are due by the 1st of the subsequent month. We accept checks or cash, but no credit cards. Checks may be mailed in or placed in the tuition drop box next to the Office. You may also do direct bank payment by requesting the service from your bank.
Registration Fees cover a multitude of recurring costs associated with students activities other than lessons, among them:
Can my child have a trial lesson before I enroll him?
A student may have one Trial Lesson in any category. In Group Piano, the trial lesson is free; in all other categories, lessons must be paid for prior to the lesson.
Where do I get lesson books?
Coppell Conservatory keeps a stock of books to provide its students as a courtesy to parents to limit trips to bookstores, car expenses related to such trips, and to save you time. Charges for books provided to students are included in subsequent invoices.
Can I purchase just a few lessons for myself or to offer as a gift?
Any number of lessons may be purchased to be used by oneself or to offer as gifts for any special occasion. We recommend a minimum of four (4) lessons for the benefit of the student. Coppell Conservatory will provide you with an official Gift Certificate that details the category and the number of lessons. The recipient may select convenient days and times for the lessons to be redeemed, from a list of current availabilities.
Do I have to sign a contract for a long period of time?
No yearly contract is required. If a student wishes to withdraw, we require a 30-day notification so that the teacher may bring the process to a proper end and the student leaves on a positive note.
Can I attend my child's lessons?
Parents may attend their children's Private Lessons only, but not the Group Lessons.
Are there progress reports and Parent-Teacher meetings?
Parents receive Progress Reports twice a year for Private Lesson Students.
What is a Student Affiliate and why is there a Membership Fee?
Student Affiliate is a student membership in the Local, State, and National Music Teachers Associations (CMTA, TMTA, MTNA). This membership is required for the student to participate in any activity sanctioned or sponsored by these associations, and activities organized by Coppell Conservatory but using venues associated with these organizations. Among the activities are: Texas State Theory Test, Jazz & Blues Festival, Gillock Piano Contest, TMTA City and State wide Performance Contest, Sonatina/Sonata Festival, and all Coppell Conservatory Recitals held at CMTA affiliated sites. There is a yearly membership fee that is split by the three organizations. It is used to cover the following costs: pay judges, purchase medals, purchase trophies, rent sites for festivals and contests, photocopying and preparations, etc.
What is a Festival?
Festivals provide an opportunity for students to play a piece before an independent judge and to receive a rating and a certificate; a high rating will also come with a ribbon. It is a valuable experience for a student to learn to prepare for, and follow through with a fairly long-term project (in this case, practicing, memorizing, and performing a musical piece). Of great additional value, they see that many other students (children and adults) are also committed to the Study of Music and participate in related outside activities, and they feel part of a valuable Musical Community.
Do students at Coppell Conservatory participate in Festivals and Contests?
Most of our Private Piano Students and a few Group Piano Students participate in Festivals and various other Contests. While participation is not mandatory, it is encouraged.
Do students at Coppell Conservatory participate in Recitals?
Coppell Conservatory has Recitals for each of the Music Categories offered. Piano Recitals are held every Spring (May); Strings Recitals may be held in the Fall (December) as well as in the Spring (May).
Are there recital fees?
No extra fees are charged for Coppell Conservatory Recitals.
What if I decide to change from group to private lessons?
A student may transfer from Group Piano to Private Piano at any time without any difficulty and at no cost. Subsequent billing will reflect the category you select.
Will I get a credit for the weeks the Conservatory is closed?
Scheduled closing days do not call for makeups or refunds. Tuition is based on 42 teaching weeks per year and therefore excludes all scheduled closing days. Monthly tuition is constant, regardless of the number of teaching weeks in a given month.
Can I make-up classes missed?
A student may make up one missed lesson during the Fall Semester and one missed lesson during the Spring Semester. All make-up lesson are in Group. Click here to read more about the Make-Up Policy. Additional missed lessons are not made up and are not refundable.
Does Coppell Conservatory rent guitars? Violins?
Coppell Conservatory has a limited number of Guitars available for rental. No Violins or other instruments are available.
Do I need a piano at home?
Yes, a Piano (or other instrument for another category) should be available on a daily basis - at home or at a neighbor/friend's. Because learning to play an instrument is a skill, it must be practiced consistently. In order for the student to progress, he/she needs to practice daily and therefore needs a piano (or at least a full-size, touch sensitive electronic keyboard for the beginning stages). The instrument should be located in an area that has adequate lighting and ventilation. If you do not already own or have access to a piano, Coppell Conservatory administrative staff can give you recommendations and will be pleased to help you.
You may consider one of the following options:
° Purchase a new Acoustic Piano
° Purchase a pre-owned Acoustic Piano
° Lease/Rent a new Acoustic Piano
° Purchase a new Electronic Keyboard
° Lease/Rent an Electronic Keyboard
Your acoustic piano should be kept in tune. A professional tuner should inspect it and, if necessary, tune it at least once a year. Ask the Coppell Conservatory Administration Office for further information and for any assistance before acquiring an instrument.
My child is 5, is he ready for lessons? What is the right age?
All children should be introduced to music at the earliest possible age, especially to Classical Music. The “appropriate age” to start varies with the instrument of choice and the child’s abilities. As abilities vary from child to child, there are no strict rules that dictate a specific starting age. Coppell Conservatory's general guidelines are quite reasonable and proved to be fairly accurate over the years; parents themselves can use them to determine the time at which they may initiate their children's music education.
Private Piano: The child should be able to:
° count from 1 to 10
° read and write the digits 0 to 9
° read and write the letters A through G
° sit reasonably still and remain focused for 10 to 15 minutes
° take directives from a teacher for up to one half hour
In general, a child about 4 years of age will meet these criteria and will be able to have meaningful and enjoyable Private Piano lessons.
Guitar and Violin: These instruments require that the student hold them up and press hard enough on the strings to generate the intended musical sound. In most very young children, these actions will result in discomfort, if not pain at the fingers, without generating the intended sounds. For these instruments, Coppell Conservatory recommends that students younger than 8 years of age be evaluated by one of our teachers, free of charge or commitment. Children 8 years of age and older are usually ready to take up these sting instruments.
How many lessons per week will my child attend?
There is one lesson per teaching week. Some students also attend a Musicianship/Theory class in addition to their private lesson. There are 42 teaching weeks in a given school year.
How often and how long should my child practice?
The teacher will set the amount of practice time. Depending on the student's age and level, an average may be
° ages 4 - 6: 15 to 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week
° ages 7 - 9: 30 minutes per day, 5 - 6 days per week
° ages 10 - 12: 45 minutes per day, 5 - 6 days per week
° ages 12+: 45 - 60 minutes per day, 6 days per week
Remember that your most important practice
is the one right after your lesson
Remember that your most important practice is the one right after your lesson
The most important thing to remember about practice is: it is not the amount of time spent, but how well that time is used that counts. If a student practices several hours a day and simply repeats the same mistakes each time through, he/she has not practiced effectively. The student needs to take the time to read the assignment book and remember the teacher’s comments and recommendations. The specific assignments and practice suggestions are intended to assist in the practice.
When practicing, make sure that the environment is free from distractions and noise. Turn off the TV, remove the phone from the room, and give provide a quiet environment to do positive fruitful work. Make sure the music is legible and well lit. Set aside a specific time each day for practice and stick to the schedule.
Unlike studying for tests or exams, music practice cannot be crammed in at the last minute or day before the lesson. Plan the time to do practice every day. The student needs to remember the teacher’s directives: take it in sections and practice a section until you can do it without mistakes three times through. Then move on to the next section.
Remember the value of taking a section slowly, making sure that you play all the notes correctly and that you count through difficult sections. Worry about playing to tempo when you have the notes and the rhythm right. In piano, a way of knowing whether the student has learned a piece well enough is if he/she can play either hand independently, starting at any place in the piece. When he/she can do that, he/she can begin to work on being musical with the piece.
Above all, don't simply repeat mistakes. A student should use practice to work out mistakes, not to reinforce them by continually repeating them. When mistakes are repeated, they are just that much more difficult to eliminate later. Take the teacher’s suggestions seriously; they will prove successful, if followed.
Remember that your most important practice
is the one right after your lesson.
Remember that your most important practice is the one right after your lesson.
Children need their parents' help in establishing regular practicing routines. It is unrealistic to expect a young child to remember to practice without a little nudge from Mom or Dad. To make practicing an enjoyable habit, try these suggestions:
Music students need continuous support and encouragement from their parents; they are at the base of the children’s success in their Music Education. Just as important is the parents’ active involvement in helping with practice time, attending lessons, and providing positive support. Whatever the age, the student should enjoy the lessons.
In music, as in all other areas of endeavor, most successful persons regard their parents' influence and inspiration as the most important in sparking their own interest. Whether or not your child makes a career of music, your efforts in bringing the world of music to him/her will make his/her life fuller, more rewarding, and happier. They will thank you for the rest of their lives.
We encourage you to help your child learn faster and enjoy lessons more. Simple things you can do are:
° Stay involved in your child's Music Education. Discuss with the teacher the kind and the degree of involvement that benefit your child. Ask if you should attend lessons and, if so, how often.
° Ask if you should supervise or coach practice sessions and, if so, how you should go about that.
° Communicate with your child's teacher to monitor progress and learn what you can do to be helpful to the learning process.
Encourage your children as often as possible. Praise their effort as well as their accomplishment. Even if your child does not learn as fast as another, in the long run, hard work will determine the final result. The best way to elicit the hard work is to reward the effort. Show an interest in what your children are doing, even if you are getting tired of hearing the same tunes. Encourage them to perform for family and friends whenever possible, and praise them. Avoid negative criticism.
Demonstrate to your children that you view Music Education as a serious commitment. Schedule your children’s piano (or other instruments) practice time just as regularly as you do their baseball or soccer practice. Ensure that practice sessions are as free as possible from distractions. If the piano is in the living room, try to limit access to the living room during your children's allotted practice time. Do not cancel music lessons to fit sports activities, parties, or other events; doing so is detrimental to the seriousness of your commitment to their Music Education. If you find a child's interest in lessons waning, the best thing to do it to discuss the problem with his/her teacher. Often, this can be solved with proper stimulation and supervision by you and the teacher working together.
Provide as much cultural enrichment as possible. The experience of listening to music without the pressure of having to play the notes correctly can add greatly to a child's appreciation for music generally and lessons in particular. Go to concerts with your children whenever possible. Introduce your children to the works of the masters by playing their music in your home.
Learning how to play any instrument is a slow and lengthy process, the results of which are as magnificent as they are fulfilling, and last a lifetime. Parents are urged not get frustrated if a child is unable to concentrate for long periods of time or does not progress according to their expectations. Patience and support are imperative and are at the base of the child’s success in all endeavors, particularly his/her Music Education. Coppell Conservatory teachers are trained to be patient with, and caring toward their students, and to maintain their level of interest during the lesson time; parents are urged to do the same at home, for the success of their children. To that end, parents are also urged to remind their children to practice daily what the teachers assign them. If in doubt please call us.
It's very common for children, usually about the time they reach the middle school years, to begin to temporarily lose interest in their music lessons. If they are allowed to quit, they usually regret it in later years. Sadly, we frequently hear parents say: "I wish my mother did not let me stop taking Piano (or Violin or Guitar, ...). You yourself may have uttered those very words. Please do not give your children the opportunity to utter them too, a few years later. This is as much a commitment by the child as it is by the parents.
It is possible to get your children through this difficult period without having them make a decision they may later wish they hadn't made and for which their young age and limited experience ill prepare them. We firmly believe that, while children say they know what they want at Jr. High and High School levels, they really don't know exactly what they will be missing by stopping their Music Education. Many Coppell Conservatory parents expressed how much they regret having quit and now realize the folly of their choice made as teenagers. Their common statement is: “I wish my mother did not let me stop!” Our answer is quite simple: “Please, do not let your child find him/herself in the same situation, repeating at a later time the same words you are saying today.”
One thing that often works well in keeping children in music lessons is a tit-for-tat agreement to continue lessons in exchange for some privilege or reward ("positive reinforcement). Such rewards need not be monetary or material. For example, a possible "contract" might be allowing your daughter to get her ears pierced in return for her continuing piano lessons for 3 more years. Similarly, you can reward good lessons and participation in recitals and contests, irrespective of whether your child won.
Whatever reward system you choose, make it clear to your child that this must be a good faith agreement between you, the parents, and your child. Regular practice and attendance at lessons are every bit as important to the child's fulfillment of the contract as your allowing the privilege. For this to work, the child has to know that if they don’t live up to their end of the contract, you will not trust them in similar situations in the future and they will lose those privileges they might otherwise have gained. Such an arrangement not only helps keep your child in music lessons, but also builds character and responsibility for their future.
Simply allowing the child to quit lessons is most likely not the best way to handle a resolutely uncooperative child. Such a decision should only be taken as a last resort and involve extensive consultation with the teacher. Finally, a word just for you parents, hang in there, it's worth it! Give yourself a pat on the back that you recognize and are dealing with the issue. Chances are your children will thank you when they get a little older for encouraging them to stay in lessons.
No. While participation in contests is not mandatory, we strongly encourage it as it gives the student a measurable goal, and eventually a worthwhile accomplishment. Click here to read about Festivals.
What is CMTA? TMTA? MTNA?
CMTA , TMTA , MTNA are Music Teachers Professional Association. They are, respectively, the Local, the State, and the National organizations. All Coppell Conservatory Piano teachers are members. This enables their students to participate in activities (Festivals, Contests, Recitals) that they sponsor. Click on each name to go visit that association's website.
What is Musicianship?
Musicianship is the practical application of music theory. The skills of rhythmic reading, sight singing, and dictation stimulate brain activity and increase muscular coordination. These exercises create neural pathways which, research suggests, may enhance areas of study other than just music (math, sciences, etc.).
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What is a Piano Performance Class?
An average performance Class is made up of 6 to 8 students and is taught by the Director. There are 16 to 18 classes during the Performance Week. In each of those classes, each student performs a piece from memory in front of a peer audience, in a supportive environment. This provides the students several opportunities to have successful performance experiences, as well as to develop good listening habits by learning audience etiquette. Students develop self-confidence and poise in performance, that serves them well not only in piano contests, festivals, and recitals, but also in all other non-musical arenas such as school, sports, and public speaking. Piano Performance classes are held 4 times per year in the Recital Hall. This is one of the several special services that Coppell Conservatory offers to its students and that distinguish it from all other music teaching services.
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What is a Recital?
Students who have prepared and are ready to perform from memory, are invited to perform to an audience of about 120 people, primarily family members and friends. The student and his/her teacher choose the piece to be performed.
What is a Master Class?
In a Master Class a select few students are invited to play a memorized piece to a Master Teacher, in front of an audience made up of students and teachers. The Master Teacher works with each of the selected student, focusing on improving specific aspects, either technical or musical, that require additional attention and polish. This process is extremely helpful, not only to all of the students, but also to the teachers in the audience who get to learn more and get exposed to new ideas. This, again, is one of the many special services that Coppell Conservatory offers to its students and teachers. Click here to read about the Fabio Bidini Master Class at Coppell Conservatory.
What is Sonatina/Sonata Festival?
This Festival is open to piano students who have memorized a movement of a Classical Sonatina or Sonata. Students who are ready play in front of an independent and experienced judge who then gives each one of them a "Comments Sheet" reflecting his/her opinion regarding each of the aspects of that piece. The sheet will also have a rating based on the student's performance. These ratings are I+, I, II, III, or IV, going from "Superior Plus" to "Lack of Adequate Preparation".
What is Jazz & Blues Festival?
This Festival is open to piano students who have memorized a Jazz & Blues composition. Judging criteria are similar to those listed above for Sonatina Festival.
What is Gillock Contest?
The Gillock Contest is a yearly competition that is sponsored by the Carrollton Music Teachers Association (CMTA). It offers piano students the opportunity to explore what it is like to be in a competition. A CMTA committee chooses pieces composed by William Gillock (a well known Texas composer of teaching pieces), by grade level/age. All participating students play the same piece corresponding to their grade level. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th place and Honorable Mention prizes are awarded to the winners.
What is Achievement/Senior Scholarship Audition?
This audition is sponsored by CMTA. It is open to students who have prepared and memorized three pieces, one from the Baroque period (or in Baroque style), one movement of a classical Sonata or Sonatina, and one selection of the teacher's choice. If a student receives three I+ ratings, he/she is awarded a special trophy to be presented at the All Star Recital. Seniors are eligible to compete for a $250.00 scholarship; their Achievement Audition is the deciding factor.
What is a CMTA All-Star Recital?
The All-Star Recital is sponsored by CMTA. It is open to students who have accumulated three I+ ratings during the current school year from any of the Festivals. It is held every Spring.
What is Fall/Spring Theory Test?
The Theory Test is a Texas state wide music theory test based on the student's school grade level. In our area, it is administered every year by CMTA. Students have the opportunity to show their knowledge in music theory. Students earn a medal (Gold, or Silver, or Bronze) if they achieve a score of 90 or higher. Those to take the test and get a gold medal for 12 years (Grades 1 through 12) receive a $100.00 award.
At Coppell Conservatory, all students receive an education in Music Theory along with the Technique for their specific instrument. Our Musicianship Classes cover all of the topics found in those tests, and much more.