- Do I need a proper piano to practice on?
If progress is to be made it is essential that you have access to an instrument to practice on with weighted and touch-sensitive keys. While a synthesiser is fine for a beginner for a couple of months, progress beyond that is difficult without access to a good quality digital or acoustic piano. Some of Charlotte’s adult students use the practice facilities at Reading University, currently available to members of the public for only £40 per year!
- What kind of piano will I have lessons on?
Students have lessons on an upright Yamaha SU118c acoustic piano. For concerts and masterclasses students will perform on a Steinway Boston grand piano.
- Where can I park when I come to lessons?
It’s easy to park on the road-side near the house.
- Can I get to lessons by public transport?
Yes, a bus from Reading centre stops nearby and there are also services from the Oxford direction. Alternatively it is about a 35 minute walk from Reading Station.
- Can I have a trial lesson before committing to a block of lessons?
You will have an idea after the first lesson whether Charlotte’s teaching is right for you – if you decide it isn’t just let Charlotte know you would rather make alternative arrangements. All first lessons are charged at the usual rate, and can be paid for individually or as the first lesson of a block.
- What should I bring to my first lesson?
If you have played before, just bring a couple of pieces you have worked on recently. Also, if you have taken an exam within the past year a copy of the mark form is useful to give an idea of your strengths and weaknesses. If you are a beginner or haven’t played for a long time, you and Charlotte can work out what book is best for you to start with when you meet. If you would find lesson notes helpful, please bring a notebook, and of course you need to bring some money to be able to pay for your lesson!
- What happens if I can’t make my usual lesson?
It may be possible to arrange a swap with sufficient notice, although there are no guarantees. If you are going away on holiday or business please let Charlotte know well in advance so she can offer your usual space to an ad-hoc student. Lessons that are missed with less than 48 hours notice are charged at the full rate. If you are unable to make your usual lesson on a regular basis, Charlotte may ask you to move to ad-hoc lessons.
- What happens during school holidays?
As Charlotte teaches adults she doesn’t work to a school year timetable. Lessons continue during the school holidays although if the usual time is not convenient Charlotte may be able to arrange a different time. She understands that for some parents with dependent children it is not possible to attend their regular lesson during the school holidays and is happy to work with the student to accommodate this.