Tag Archives: anna

HMMS Faculty featured on WETA

Please, tune up to our Trio performance featured on WETA Front Row!

WETA Front Row link 

The concert was presented by Levine School of Music and recorded live on March 19, 2016 at The Falls Church Episcopal


Hard Questions

In this rubric of Discussions we will be posting questions from parents,

some of current students, others from parents of students who graduated long time ago and already dealing with similar issues with their own children. All questions are made anonymous, try your best not to guess who asked them:)
Please, feel free to post your comments, advises and suggestions. You can also send us your own questions, we promise to change names and keep your confidentiality!


Hi, Anna,
In the past few months, while my son’s desire to play piano has remained high, his focus on practicing well has diminished (even when he’s practicing the required number of hours).   Maybe it’s due to age and other interests gaining his attention.  Despite trying to provide more structure (or even less structure), he has lost motivation to practice with focus.  He’s even started to be dishonest about how much he’s actually practiced.
When I speak to him about this, he says he wants to play to the level/expectation of your teachings, but his actions are not revealing this.  Have you experienced this before?  While I don’t want to give up on what he says he wants, I also don’t want to waste your time (and my money) if he’s not going to follow through appropriately. And, I don’t want him to feel pressure of not progressing, particularly in a studio like yours.  Any thoughts?


Hi, Jennifer,
This is very common, it’s the age, your son is reaching the “terrible teens”. The best way I know is a very hard way, I can’t say I accomplished it fully when my own son was growing up. First of all, it’s important to adjust to your son’s process of gradually leaving his childhood and in the next few years becoming his own man. Which means he will be less and less receptive to basic rules and statements like “do because you must”; “be truthful because it’s right”, and so on. You already taught him these basics, now he is

Continue reading Hard Questions

My child is ready to start lessons…or is she? (Topic 1, Part 6. What is involved?)

In this post we continue looking through some factors which are involved in the initial decision to start music lessons. This post is about obvious and hidden costs of music lessons. 

The obvious costs are the teacher’s fees, books and other materials, travel costs, and the cost of obtaining and maintaining an instrument. Teachers’ fees fluctuate and can be checked on line or by calling teachers and music schools around for the most up-to-date information. Books and other printed materials can be estimated at around $100-$250 per year depending on the age of student.

Keep in mind that initial purchase cost of a piano is higher than a violin, or cello, or flute. A decent upright piano will cost you between about $3,000 for used one in good condition to $12,000 for a higher end brand new one.

Continue reading My child is ready to start lessons…or is she? (Topic 1, Part 6. What is involved?)

My child is ready to start lessons…or is she? (Topic 1, Part 1. What is involved?)

What is involved? In determining whether it’s time to start lessons now or wait a bit more parents need to consider many factors and also many people!

This topic will also have several posts, so keep scrolling to find what interests you most

Where to start? With understanding and accepting that learning a musical instrument is a project which will span at least 10-12 years. Start with accepting the fact that at this point no one will honestly be able to tell you if your child has anymore potencial than average. You will not know until at least mid-way through if music will fall for your child into a category of casual interest, or a hobby, or a passion. And that is about 5-6 years, 100’s of hours, and 1,000’s of dollars from now!  

Continue reading My child is ready to start lessons…or is she? (Topic 1, Part 1. What is involved?)