Contents and Fees



Whether the lessons are conducted in English or Japanese, the target age group is from age 5 to adults of any age. People who are aiming to become professional performing artists from the beginning would probably want to explore different options. Returnees who have been learning abroad and hope to continue their lessons in English are within the target population.

My basic concept is to approach lessons for children and adults the same, but in general children are better than adults in terms of the speed of their response to sound, their sensitivity to the nuance of sound, and in their ability to adapt. Adults seem to naturally try to intellectualize the music. Whether the lesson is in Japanese or English, for adults who want to have music lessons, the balance between practical knowledge and music sensibility will become a focal point of the lessons. It is of the utmost importance to establish a clear awareness of sound. At any age, however it is certain that if the student makes effort they will get better and learn to enjoy producing music.

For children having lessons once per week is ideal. Especially for children, consistency is necessary to ensure continued progress. In order to avoid the setbacks that often accompany missed lessons, I encourage my students and their parents to make a commitment to weekly lessons. Additionally, if practice schedules are not maintained this can also interfere with the progress of the student. Music is fun when you practice and play well, so if you cannot play well it is not enjoyable, and as a result many people will end up quitting. For adult learners having lessons every other week is possible.

The lesson fee varies depending on level, age and the lesson contents. For example, a five year old child might not be able to continue for a full lesson. The fee is adjusted to accommodate such conditions. Basically a lesson, carried out either in English or Japanese, is \4,000 per lesson.

The length of the lesson is 30 minutes or longer. I don’t stop the lesson because time is up, but if the student has completed their homework as assigned, the lesson shouldn’t be too long. With children concentration is often an issue, so a longer lesson is not necessarily better.

It may be possible to have lessons in your home depending on your location. If you are interested in having the teacher come to your home, please ask.

Textbooks will be discussed in greater detail later, but as I mentioned in the Essential Elements for Improvement section, I do not teach the textbook, but rather teach using the textbook, and do not require the student to use a specific textbook. If, for example, a student has taken lessons previously, it is possible to continue using the same textbook.

Lastly, in order to carry out the lessons effectively, the most important aspect is good communication with the parents. The lesson is carried out once per week, so the teacher sees the student only once per week. The other six days the parent sees the student. In front of the teacher the child will naturally strive to show their strengths and abilities, but at home they might actually be having a hard time. The parent is in the best position to identify areas of concern. It might be necessary for the parent to point out that the amount of homework is overwhelming for the student. It is important to communicate appropriately with the teacher regarding any concerns. Unless the parent trusts the teacher it will be impossible for the student to trust the teacher, and that will interfere with carrying out effective lessons. Some teachers discourage parents from being present during lessons, but I prefer the parent to observe the lessons occasionally. To carry out lessons I need help from the parents on technical aspects. For example, holding the violin with proper posture is not easily accomplished by small children. What is learned during the lesson must be reinforced at home. Also, because all people are different, the individual speed and contents of the lessons will vary. We all have good days and bad days psychologically and physically. This is easier to notice with small kids. It is not true to say that all students can improve at a uniform pace. Considering these things, effective and open communication with parents is essential.

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Reiko Tamura Music School