FAQ

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What makes Piano Power unique?

We’ll tell you how we think our families who’ve been with us for many years would answer that question. We’re able to provide a really well-curated team of teachers who are fun, engaging, and creative, and who also take their teaching seriously. We run a pretty seamless operation when it comes to managing schedules and any other logistics. Because we’ve been focused on Chicago and the northern suburbs since 2001, we’ve earned a lot of trust, and we’ve learned how to be the best at what we do — not just at matching your student with a great instructor, but at truly understanding the needs of your family long-term, and growing with you as those needs change.

What’s your teaching philosophy?

Our teachers combine a strong focus on theory and fundamentals, with a very flexible approach to repertoire. We want to know what your students are listening to, and we incorporate their input as early in the process as possible — even if it’s just learning a simple one-line arrangement of the chorus to their favorite pop song. We also encourage composition, for students who are interested in that. All in all, it’s an approach that keeps our students engaged and excited about what they’re doing.

Do you teach adults, too?

Yes! We teach students of all ages, including teenagers and adults.

Is my kid old enough for piano lessons?

We don’t recommend private lessons for students younger than age five. At that age, it’s better to try a group class such as the Wiggleworms classes at the Old Town School of Folk Music, which are offered in suburban locations too. We have about a 50% success rate with 5-year-olds, and a much higher success rate with 6-year-olds. Between age 5 and age 6, there are a few important developmental things that happen: fine-motor skills get stronger, reading ability improves, and the ability to sit still and concentrate goes way up. All of those things make piano lessons a lot more successful.

Do you teach lessons in my neighborhood?

We offer piano, guitar, drum, and voice lessons in the following North Shore suburbs: Deerfield, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Golf, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Lincolnwood, Northbrook, Northfield, Riverwoods, Skokie, Wilmette, and Winnetka; and in the following Chicago neighborhoods: Albany Park, Andersonville, Avondale, Bucktown, Edgebrook, Edgewater, Gold Coast, Humboldt Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Near North, North Center, Ravenswood, River North, Rogers Park, Roscoe Village, Uptown, West Rogers Park, West Town, and Wicker Park.

If you don’t see your neighborhood or suburb listed here we may still be able to serve you. Please contact us.

Where do your instructors come from?

We maintain ongoing contact with many different sources to find and retain the highest-quality teachers. Some come directly from referrals from top undergraduate and master’s music programs, others are referred by current instructors, and others are peers from the Chicago music community. You can get a sense of their backgrounds and personalities on the Our Instructors page of the Piano Power website.

Does Piano Power teach Suzuki method?

Piano Power teachers, in general, don’t teach Suzuki method. Suzuki is great for ear-training, but we’ve found that when we’ve inherited Suzuki-trained students, there’s a lot of catch-up to do when it comes to note-reading. So overall, we find traditional method to be better than Suzuki for giving students a well-rounded background in theory and fundamentals.

Do you offer every-other-week lessons?

We don’t offer lessons on an every-other-week basis. Our teachers work weekly schedules, so an every-other-week student would create a recurring schedule vacancy for them.

Do you offer 30-minute lessons?

Yes, as long as two or more students will be taking back-to-back lessons in the same household. We have a 45-minute minimum per household visit. Because our lessons are in-home, this is our only means of ensuring that our teachers are teaching more than they’re driving. That said, our teachers are experts at keeping lessons well-paced, diverse, and fun, and our students generally do just fine with the time frame.

What’s your cancellation policy?

We have a 24-hour cancellation policy. You can use that for all holidays, and for up to one additional cancellation per two months. Also, during summers, we’re understanding about longer-term absences for camp, vacations, etc. Long story short, as long as you keep a regular schedule and give 24 hours notice when you need to cancel, you’ll be fine.

We don’t have a piano. Do you have any suggestions for renting one, buying one used, or purchasing a keyboard?

Regarding upright or grand pianos, Yamaha, Kawai, and Baldwin are all reliable and reasonably-priced brands. Another good option might be to rent a digital piano. Digital pianos (as opposed to keyboards) have weighted, piano-style keys that foster the development of great technique for a beginning student. They’re also reasonably affordable (you can purchase one for around $500). If you rent, you can probably get the instrument for around $35 per month, with the rental fees applying toward an eventual purchase. Cordogan’s has an arrangement like this.

Can you recommend a piano tuner?

Both of these recommended tuners are able to tune a piano or evaluate the overall “health” of a potential purchase: Sam Grossner of Northshore Piano Service, 847.256.1529, and Steve Young 312.371.0705.

Can you recommend a piano mover?
Kevin’s Piano Movers, 847-395-7048, is our favorite company for in-state piano moving.
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