DeGazon Music of Kleinburg
10449 (Bldg 2B) Islington Ave.
Kleinburg, ON
DeGazon Music of Mississauga
1700 Mazo Crescent
Mississauga,ON
416.527.3769

Lessons@DeGazonMusic.ca

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FAQ


GETTING THE MOST OUT OF MUSIC LESSONS…and other tips

These guidelines will help you have a successful and rewarding experience while learning an instrument. These are practical tips that we have discovered from years of teaching with hundreds of music students each year across our music schools in Oakville, Mississauga, and Vaughan (serving students from Woodbridge, Maple, Kleinburg, Nobleton and Bolton).

START AT THE RIGHT AGE

Adults can start at any time. Their success is based on how willing an adult is to commit to practicing. For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons. If a child is put into lessons too soon, they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to stop lessons. The last thing you want to do is turn a child off of music just because they had one unpleasant experience which could have been prevented.

The following guidelines have proved to be successful in determining how young a child can start taking music lessons.

Preschool piano – ages 4 – 5

Music for Little Mozarts combine general musicianship activities with those that develop performance skills at the piano. Skills taught in the course focus on keyboard performance, listening, pitch matching, technique, singing, rhythm and music appreciation

Piano – ages 6 and up

At this age, students have begun to develop longer attention spans and can retain material with ease.

Vocal – ages 6 – 9

At this age we recommend singing lessons that teaches students how to use their voices properly, in a fun, relaxed environment.

Vocal – ages 10 and up

Due to the physical nature of the voice, proper breathing techniques, development of the vocal chords and lung capacity is emphasized at this age.

Guitar – 6 years old

The earliest we recommend for guitar. Guitar playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips from pressing on the strings. Children under 6 generally have small hands and will find playing uncomfortable and too difficult.

Drums – ages 6 – 7

The average age of our youngest drum student is 6 or 7 years old. This varies depending on the size of the child as they need to be able to reach both the pedals and the cymbals.

CHOOSE A SCHOOL THAT OFFERS A VARIETY OF TEACHING METHODS AND STYLES

Different students require different teaching approaches. Our teachers have experience with students with learning disabilities and special needs. We also look at the whole child and recommend that along with the fundamentals of music, students learn to play by ear, improvise, play contemporary songs, etc. We believe students learn better in a one on one environment where a teacher can cater to their special learning needs. The teacher can work at the pace of the child.

CHOOSE A PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL WITH PROFESSIONAL TEACHERS

This may be your child’s first or only experience with private music education. To ensure a positive experience, make sure the teacher is qualified and has the ability to cater to your child‘s interests and needs in a professional school environment, where a student cannot be distracted by TV, noisy siblings, pets, ringing phones. With only 30 minutes of lesson time per week, a professional school environment can produce better results since the only focus at that time is learning music.

HOW TO MAKE PRACTICING EASIER

As with anything, improvement in music takes practice. One of the main problems with music lessons is the drudgery of practicing and the fight between parents and students to practice every day. Here are some four ways to make practicing easier:

1.REGULAR TIME

Set the same time every day to practice so it becomes part of a routine or habit. This works particularly well for children. Generally the earlier in the day the practicing can occur, the less reminding is required by parents to get the child to practice. A good tactic that seems to work well is once the child completes all their homework, music practice, household chores, etc, then they are rewarded with electronic usage.
We recommend the place of learning not to be in the basement or up in the child’s bedroom. Typically students like to practice in the hub of the home where there is family activity.

2.REPETITION

We use this method often when setting practice schedules for beginners. For a young child, 20 or 30 minutes seems like an eternity. Instead of setting a time frame, we use repetition. For example, the student is to practice a piece 4 times every day, and a scale 5 times a day. The child then does not pay attention to the amount of time they are practicing an instrument, but knows that when they are on repetition number 3, they are almost finished.
** PLEASE SEE OUR PRACTICE CHART AND FEEL FREE TO MODIFY ACCORDING TO YOUR CHILD’S NEEDS

3.REWARDS

Parents can encourage children to practice by granting them occasional awards for successful practicing. In our school, reward a young student for a successful week of practicing with stickers on their work. We do find, however that praise tends to be the most coveted award.

4.MOST IMPORTANTLY…HAVE FUN

Music should be something that you enjoy for a lifetime, so try not to put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your children to learn too quickly. Everyone learns at a different pace and the key is to be able to enjoy the journey.

We understand life is full – full of school, full of life, and full of fun. Some weeks will be easy to practice– other weeks more of a challenge. We do know that the more children practice, the better they get and the better they get, the more encouraged they are to practice.

RECOMMENDED CURRICULUM FOR MUSIC STUDENTS

Every DeGazon Music student receives a Dictation book (for piano, bass, drums, other instruments) a Tab book for guitar.

It is recommended that students’ learning with method books be supplemented with popular and fun music e.g. Popular Hits of 2013 in Big Note or Easy Piano, which we have as part of our music school inventory, sheet music from the internet – www.sheetmusicdirect.com or www.musicnotes.com (web music to be purchased by student), chords and lyrics etc.

Piano Students

Beginning at age 4, 5

  • Music for Little Mozarts: Complete Starter Kit

Beginning at age 5, 6

  • Alfred Prep Piano Lesson and Theory Books Level A

Beginning at age 6-11

  • Alfred Basic Piano Lesson Book Level 1A
  • Vandendool Keyboard Prep Theory Book A

*after Alfred level 2, a student can decide to continue with RCM and/or Big Note level fun music

Ages 12/Teen/Adult Beginners

  • Alfred Adult All-in-One Piano Course Book 1 - includes lesson, theory, technique and additional repertoire

Theory Students

  • Elementary Music Rudiments (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced) by Mark Sarnecki
  • History Students: The Enjoyment of Music – Machlis (used for all 3 years of history)

Brass and Woodwinds Students

  • The teacher will request a lesson method book specific to the students needs

Guitar Students

  • Ages 6 - Alfred's Kids Guitar Course Complete (Book and CDs)
  • Ages 7-15 - Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 1 with CD
  • Ages 16 – Adult - Hal Leonard Guitar Method - Complete Edition, CDs Included (Second Edition) - Books 1, 2 and 3 bound together
  • Bass Guitar
    • Hal Leonard Complete Bass Method with CD
    • Easy Pop Bass Lines - Hal Leonard

For your convenience – the sale of guitars

  • ¾ guitar with bag – $149.99
  • Full size acoustic with soft case – $195.95

Violin Students

  • Suzuki Violin Part Volume 1
  • Violin Theory – Edward Janowsky

Voice Students

Dictation book – the teacher will recommend material based on their individual voice

  • Ages 5 – 11 Kid’s Broadway Songbook with CD – 22 songs
  • Ages 12 and up – HL Best Broadway Songs Ever – PVG
  • Vandendool Keyboard Prep Theory Book A for all ages

Piano Method Books

We tell people that Alfred is one of the most common and widely used books throughout North America (like the Coke or Pepsi of books). They have huge staffs of music educators to constantly improve the course material. These books also have age appropriate material so that an adult beginner and a child beginner are taught at the proper level for their intellectual development. This series also has fun, supplemental themed books such as Christmas books, jazz books, pop books, etc.

For our classical students the Royal Conservatory has a syllabus and publishes books on a graded system. The teachers will recommend which books to buy. All Royal Conservatory students will need a minimum of their graded piece book and the accompanying studies book. They also can benefit from a technique book, but some teachers will teach the technique without requiring the student to purchase a book for it.

Yes! DeGazon Music offers instruction all year round in two separate terms:
  1. the School Year (10 months, September to June) Term; and
  2. the Summer Term (July and August).
Despite the two terms, students can be enrolled in lessons at any time during the school year.

Students can purchase required music material through DeGazon Music, but this is separate from the lesson tuition fees. Your teacher will give your child the books they need from our inventory at the studio. Our office will process the book order and email you an invoice with the details.

If the studio is out of stock, an order for your book(s) is sent to head office, we generally have the books ready by the next lesson with an invoice inside the front cover of the book.

Any outstanding book fees will be processed with the next tuition payment on the 24th of each month.

We are open on PD Days therefore lessons go on as usual. On Statutory holiday Mondays, lessons are rescheduled to the Friday of the same week at the same lesson time. Please see our Key Dates & Holiday Breaks page for all important studio dates on the DeGazon Music calendar for this year.
The required minimum notice is given with an absolute minimum of twenty-four (24) hours notice.
Each student is permitted to 2 make-up lessons provided that 24 hours notice is given to cancel the original lesson.
See Make up Request You can book your make-up lesson request with any teacher that teaches your instrument and has a make-up time available that works with your family’s schedule.
Make-up Lesson FAQ
  1. Give the required minimum of twenty-four (24) hours notice to Rachel@DeGazonMusic.ca with "Away Notice" in the subject line (do not just let your teacher know).
  2. ** Last-minute lesson cancellation requests (due to illness or any other scheduling conflict) without the minimum notice will not be accepted and the lesson will not be made up
  3. Eligibility Criteria: Private students are permitted up to two (2) make-up lessons (September to June) provided that the required minimum notice is given with an absolute minimum of twenty-four (24) hours notice.
  4. Because you know your schedule best, request your own make-up time from the available times at your studio location.
  5. Each family is responsible to schedule their own eligible make-up lessons online by linking to your studio's Make-up Request Calendar below. (View your Absence record online - sign-in, click on the 'My Students' Tab, select your child's name, then click on their 'Absences' tab).

***Sign-in to the Customer Portal to see the Policy document for details on Lesson Absence & Make-ups.

Sign-in to review your student's absence & make-up record.

Q.If I chose not to book my make-up lesson(s), will I get a refund at the end of the term?
We are not able to refund or carry-forward outstanding make-up lessons beyond the term. What we can do is continue be committed throughout the year to update each studio’s make-up request calendar with currently available times for make-up lessons to be requested.

Yes! You receive an electronic payment confirmation email automatically each time an electronic payment is processed. Also, your complete transaction record is always available 24-7 online and can be printed at any time. Official electronic tax receipts from DeGazon Music are issued once per year in February via email.
  1. Gather information about music & dance lessons at DeGazon
    1. Look on website
    2. Ask friends and neighbors
    3. Call or email us and ask any additional questions!
  2. Once you know your preferred lesson location, day(s) and time(s) – let us know.
  3. You are now ready to register! You can do this online, over the phone, or by sending us an email.
  4. Expect a welcome package (usually within 2 business days) via email confirming your enrollment details (day, time, teacher’s name and start date) and the required next steps.
  5. Select a payment option and submit your information before your first lesson.
  6. Login to Current Student Login (DeGazon Music Family Portal)
  7. Review and agree to our Terms and Conditions and ask any questions you may have!
    • This step is very important to not to skip over! At DeGazon our T&C’s reflect ‘what we are aiming for’ as we provide your family with excellent music and dance education services. A common understanding of key processes, information, and mutual expectations at the beginning will allow us to be on the same page and work in harmony for years to come.
  8. Note down the Key Dates and Holiday Breaks in your calendar
  9. Go to the first lesson where you will meet the teacher, assess where the student is at, discuss learning objectives and recommend books.

Our customer portal is easy to use and gives you access to key information like transacting and payment history, current enrollment, make up lesson records and access to online Terms and Conditions under the ‘Policy Tab’. If you do have any questions, feel free to contact us and we are more than happy to guide you through the portal. Click here to go directly to the portal now!

It is ideal if you do have a piano at home, but you can start lessons by using an electric keyboard to practice on. Many of our students rent or buy small electric keyboards to practice on at home. We recommend a keyboard that has regular sized keys and a touch sensitive response. A touch sensitive keyboard means if you press a key harder it will play louder and if you press a key softer it will play quieter.
No, you do not need a full drum set to start drum lessons. Students can start lessons by using a pair of drumsticks and practice pad. This is a small dinner plate sized pad that costs less than $60 that is used for practicing basic drum rhythms. If you are committed to continuing with lessons, we do recommend that you rent or purchase a drum kit.
There is no set answer of how long it takes to learn an instrument. With regular practice a basic level of playing can be accomplished in a few months. Most of our students take lessons on a long-term basis because they want to be constantly improving and they find the lessons enjoyable.

Yes. Even if you don't have a musical background you can ask the teacher for advice on how to help your child practice. With your encouragement and by simply monitoring that they are doing exercises a certain number of times per day the student will progress.

Remember, each week your teacher writes notes in your student’s dictation/note book summarizing what was worked on and what is to be practiced during the week between lessons. Reading these notes each week and supporting your child’s learning through encouragement to practice is a great help.

Many parents occasionally sit-in on their child's music lesson to get an idea of the proper way a song should sound or how the student should be positioning their hands. For more information and tips, please refer to this article:

http://winterhaltermusic.com/general/how-to-help-your-kids-practice-if-you-are-not-a-musician-yourself/

Adding our email addresses to your Address Book or Safe Senders list helps ensure that our messages about your membership, like lesson details, payment confirmations, and important studio notifications, arrive in your inbox instead of caught in a spam filter.

Please add lessons@degazonmusic.ca and noreply@jackrabbittech.com to your address book or safe senders list to ensure you always receive important email from us. It should take only a few minutes when you follow the directions listed below.

Microsoft Outlook

1.     Open a message from us.

2.     Right-click on the name in the 'From' field and select Add to Outlook Contacts.

3.     Add any additional information and click the Save button.

Mail (Apple)

1.     Open a message from us.

2.     Click Message and select Add Sender to Address Book.

3.     You can also right-click the name in the 'From' field and select A Add Sender to Address Book.

4.     Enter any additional information and click Save.

Gmail (Tabbed View)

1.     In your inbox, locate a message from us.

2.     Drag that email into the Primary tab.

3.     To do this for future messages from us, click Yes when prompted.

Gmail (Flat View)

1.     Open a message from us

2.     Click the arrow next to the Reply button.

3.     Select Add Sender to Contacts List.

4.     Gmail will then notify you that we've been added to your Contacts List.