Frequently Asked Questions
How do I sign up?
CLPS accepts applications for prospective students by referral only. The application process includes an online application, a studio class visit, and a family interview in order to ensure a quality pairing and partnership between teacher, students, parents, and studio community. If you have the name of a referral, please click here to apply.
Please note that application requests without a valid referral will not be processed. All applicants for 2020-21 will be considered for a waitlist and will be notified when there is availability.
How are lessons structured?
Using individualized curriculum and project-based learning plans, coupled with research-based pedagogy and core principles of progressive education, each student is encouraged to take an active engagement in their own learning as they embark enthusiastically on their quest to achieve complete understanding and mastery of the fundamentals of music performance, theory, literature and history.
CLPS also provides settings for collaborative group learning and peer review, as well as opportunities for self-directed learning, to supplement each student's weekly individual instruction.
How long should lessons be?
Beginners under the age of 7 generally start at 30 minute lessons. Depending on different factors, such as attention span, enthusiasm, etc., lessons can then extend to 45 or 60 minutes. A good rule of thumb is to start considering 60 minute lessons at roughly age 7, though every child develops at a different rate, so their desire and willingness for longer lessons will also develop at different times. It is better to err on the side of "less is more" -- students will usually be excited to graduate to longer lessons, and express that they are ready when they say things like, "Aww, that went by so fast!" or "I wish we didn't have to stop now and that we could keep going!"
How often should lessons take place?
Students typically have lessons once a week, though depending on several factors, such as enthusiasm, the frequency of practice, and rate of improvement, some students opt for additional lessons during the week.
Should I sit in the lesson with my child?
Parents are encouraged to sit in during lessons to observe what and how their child is learning. This helps parents stay in tune with their child's music education experience, as well as enables parents to be involved during practice at home. In some cases, students may be distracted by a parent's presence, in which case the parent is kindly asked to wait outside during the lesson.
How often should students practice?
Students encouraged to play and experiment on the piano on their own, as well as work on meaningful practice, at least 3-4 times a week in order to get the most out of their lessons. The more students and parents put into practice, the more they will get out of their experience with piano. In order to make the time spent at the piano meaningful and productive, students are assigned specific goals to reach on their own during the week, and are encouraged to focus on reaching practice goals instead of spending mindless time at the piano to log a certain length of practice time.
Do students participate in competitions/festivals/CM merit auditions?
No. At CLPS, our focus is on cultivating a love of music and learning -- more learning and development takes place through exposing students to as much variety of musical material as possible, as opposed to practicing the same piece(s) for an extended amount of time
The primary goals for CLPS students are to encourage enthusiasm while building a solid foundation for musical mastery, and it is one of our core beliefs that this can be most efficiently established without setting a competitive environment. However, if in the rare case a student has a strong desire to enter a competition, coaching and preparation is available.
How can I tell if my child is progressing without trophies or certificates?
Educational research has shown that feedback and evaluation, as well as intrinsic motivation, are more effective for students' long-term learning, progress, passion, and performance, than comparing/ranking students to each other and extrinsic motivators like trophies/awards.
The learning process at CLPS emphasizes a continuous loop of goal-setting between student and teacher, followed by feedback from various sources, ranging from the teacher, peers, and student him/herself. In addition to specific feedback and self-evaluation at every lesson, students have performance opportunities throughout the year to play in a public setting. As a result, a CLPS student will typically be able to tell you in great detail where they stand in terms of their strengths, progress and areas for improvement.