Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions:


What are some advantages of an electronic-piano?

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The electronic-piano is the ideal instrument for laying down musical foundations because

  • it is very similar to a standard upright or grand piano, without the exorbitant initial financial outlay.
  • it is light and portable, so you can take it everywhere. Piano-playing and practice can now be done anywhere in the world! There is no more excuse!
  • there is volume control on the electronic-piano. So, music playing can be undertaken late at night or very early in the morning. Similarly, optional headphones can also be used.
  • transfer of skills to a standard upright or grand piano can be undertaken easily.
  • the keys of an electronic-piano are laid out in a constant way (unlike the violin, where it is difficult for beginners to find their notes).
  • it produces a reliable, accurate pitch for ear training (unlike the violin, where beginners have further challenges because the violin pitch can be highly variable).
  • it can be played easily by small children with small hands (unlike some instruments such as the cello or double bass, where child and hand size are vital).
  • note-reading in both the treble and bass clefs simultaneously will be taught. This skill is not utilised in most other instruments.
  • in our electronic-piano lessons, the left hand will be taught to play individual notes as well as chords. This contrasts with digital keyboard lessons where the left hand will be mainly taught to play chords.
  • an electronic-piano also has a variety of orchestral sounds, resulting in exposure to the sounds of an orchestra.



Questions Related to Children's Piano Program:


At what age should my child start learning music?

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Charteris Music School has age guidelines to ensure optimal educational experience for your children. Age and ability are used to place your children in the most appropriate classes. Teaching is then tailored to the particular class needs.

Our experience shows that if there is too wide an age range in the class, the younger children will experience difficulty and the skill set with which they are required to progress will be weaker.

Our courses accept children from age 4½. Younger children may be accepted - please contact us for more information.


What instrument will my children learn to play in the beginners' program?

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Our Foundation Piano Program 1 accepts children between 4½ and 6½ years old. At this age, the electronic-piano is the instrument used to develop the basics of your children's music education. Because we use electronic-pianos, basic keyboard skills are developed in this class and this can be easily transferred to a standard acoustic piano.

At Charteris Music School, we recommend and use electronic-pianos and NOT non-weighted digital keyboards. From our experience, your children's manual dexterity will be poorer if digital keyboards are used. The range of sounds and buttons on a digital keyboard (there are some experts who consider these gimmicks) also distract your children and their focus and concentration will be easily lost.

Because we teach a variety of music skills in class, the foundation your children develop in our class can also be applied to other musical instruments or voice.


Can my children learn another instrument?

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Medical research has shown that playing the electronic-piano enhances coordination, concentration and memory. It also brings about the improvement of eyesight and hearing. Involvement in music connects and develops the motor systems of the brain, refining the entire neurological system in ways that cannot be done by any other activity.

Therefore, at Charteris Music School, we strongly believe that the electronic-piano is the most appropriate instrument to begin on. Further advantages are its lightweight and portability which ensures it can travel everywhere.

By learning the electronic-piano, your children will also be able to read both the treble and bass clefs simultaneously. Our years of experience have shown that it is much easier to learn another instrument once your children have a music foundation in the electronic-piano.

We offer other courses in other instruments for older children and adults.


Do I have to purchase an electronic-piano when my child begins your piano program?

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As parents, we understand your rightful concern that your beginner child may not continue to play after you have just purchased an expensive standard upright acoustic piano. We also understand that you may wonder if the piano is really the right instrument for him/her. Therefore, we appreciate that you may not wish to purchase an expensive piano until you are sure.

On the other hand, to maintain your child's interest in music, it is optimal to provide him/her with a good instrument as soon as possible. Therefore, you will definitely need to have an electronic-piano. It needs to have at least 61 standard-sized keys and be in working condition. Electronic-pianos are available for purchase through Charteris Music School at reasonable rates. Payment plans are available, if necessary.


Why are small group lessons recommended over private (or individual) lessons?

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There are many misconceptions about individual and small group music lessons. We address these in this article.

Please take a moment to read this article.


What happens if my child is faster (or slower) than others in the same class?

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Our teachers are trained to deal with individual differences within a group lesson. Within in each class, there is a wide range of activities, so that we can give your children a rounded music education. Whilst it is perceivable that a child may develop a particular skill faster than others, he or she may be slower in another skill. At Charteris Music School, we also encourage the children to learn from each other's strengths.

This is one of the many benefits of a group lesson. Other benefits include friendships, development of socialisation skills and cooperation.


Your Foundation Piano Program has children from age 4½ years. My child is nearly 10 years old. Will s/he be too old to start this program at your school now?

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We group children according to ability and our groups are small to ensure individual attention. Our teachers are also trained to deal with individual differences and mixed abilities within the class. There is a variety of activities within each class to provide new challenges for your children. Our teachers are passionate about teaching music to children and undertake careful class presentations, in order to engage your children. As you probably already appreciate, children also learn from one another.



Questions Related to Adult and Senior Programs:


Am I too old to learn?

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You are Not Too Old! And it is Never Too Late to Play Music!

Active music-playing stimulates the brain in many positive ways and keeps an “older person” feeling young! Eat right, exercise frequently and PLAY MUSIC. This is the secret of eternal youth.

Playing music WILL make you feel better, WILL stimulate your mind, your eyes, your ears, and WILL give you a sense of “WELL BEING” that is unlike anything else.

You can do it even if you are a senior with little or no piano-playing experience. Wth the right piano teacher and the right instrument, I believe you can achieve your musical goals because I see it happen all the time. You just have to get started and do it!


Do I have to purchase an electronic-piano when I begin your piano program?

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To be able to explore, practise and maintain your interest in music, it is optimal to have access to a good instrument as soon as possible. You may already have a piano or electronic-piano where you live. If so, this is excellent and you won't need to purchase an instrument. However, if you cannot get access to an instrument, you will definitely need to have buy an electronic-piano. It needs to have at least 61 standard-sized keys and be in working condition.

Electronic-pianos are available for purchase through Charteris Music School at reasonable rates. Payment plans are available, if necessary.


What instrument should I learn to play in your program?

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One of the best instruments used to develop the basics of your music education is the piano. However, it is understandable if you do not wish to purchase an exorbitantly expensive acoustic piano. Besides, there may not be enough space to house one where you live.

Therefore, at Charteris Music School, we recommend electronic-pianos, which are most affordable for the quality of sound it produces. In addition, it is relatively small, lightweight and portable, so you can take it anywhere you wish! Basic skills developed in this class can be easily transferred to a standard acoustic piano.

Please note that at Charteris Music School, electronic-pianos are the instrument of choice and we do not recommend non-weighted digital keyboards. From our experience, manual dexterity will be poorer if digital keyboards are used.

Because we teach a variety of music skills in class, the foundation you develop in our class can also be applied to other musical instruments or voice.