THE TORONTO INSTITUTE FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF MUSIC

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How often should I take music lessons and for how long?

Keeping music lessons on a regular schedule usually leads to a consistent growth rate. We have many students on different schedules. Some take hour long lessons once a week, and others take hour long lessons twice a week. The most common is a half hour lesson once a week. Each student should decide for themselves what feels best for their goals, weekly schedules, and budgets. Keeping a regular and consistent schedule is the key to growth.

How many lessons will I need to learn how to play an instrument?

Each day we witness that no two students have exactly the same learning style, musical interests, and growth rate. Music comes up differently in everyone. It is impossible to predict how many lessons will be necessary to achieve your musical goals, there are too many variables at play.

We do know, and feel very comfortable saying that the more you put in, the more you get out. If you are looking for an increased rate of progress you will need to increase the amount of time you spend on your instrument each week. You can achieve anything you put your mind to!

How long should I be practicing per week?

There is no magic number to reach each week. Music is similar to most rewarding things in life, the more you put in, the more you get out. There is no limit to how deep you can venture into music. We do however suggest practicing as regularly as possible, as this will increase the rate of improvement that we are all seeking. Each person has to decide what level of commitment feels right for themselves.

You will hopefully leave here inspired and full of numerous musical ideas to entertain yourself each time you pick up your instrument.

What level am I playing at?

The answer to this question is subjective and it depends on who you ask, or what criteria you employ. At TIFEM we are more concerned with you building a unique bond with music, and a deep love and appreciation for the process of studying.

Each day, and every time we sit down with our instruments we can deepen our understanding, execute musical passages more confidently, with a better technique, and build a deeper emotional connection. When you are studying music, in some ways, you are delving into the infinite.

All that being said, for the more goal oriented people, who like noticing self improvement, following a method book series, or keeping track of all the music you learn in a musical journal can be a great way to look back and track results.

We also encourage all our younger students to perform at our TIFEM Music festivals, which are offered four times a year (Spring, Summer, Fall, and during the December holiday season). This can be a fantastic, and extremely positive way to start the process of setting goals. For our adult students we have a monthly TIFEM Open Mic series where many people have had their first performance opportunity, in a very supportive and fun environment.

Do I need my own instrument?

We have many instruments at TIFEM that students can use during their lesson, but it is a great idea to have an instrument at home to practice with. If committing to a purchase doesn’t feel comfortable yet, there are a few places in town that will rent instruments monthly. You can also use our instruments at the school until you know you are ready to commit and purchase your own instrument. We are able to make suggestions based on what kind of instrument you are looking for, and your budget.

Am I too old to start music lessons?

You are never too old. The process of learning music begins as soon as you decide you want it to. Nike had it right when they said “Just Do It”.

We have many adult beginners studying and improving from week to week, and we have been told countless times how thankful they are for bringing music into their lives.

What age should my child begin taking music lessons?

There are many different opinions about when to begin a child’s journey into music. At TIFEM, we believe that one-on-one private lessons can begin whenever the parent feels the child is ready.

We have started children as young as two years old. The most important question to ask is if your child has the ability to focus for the duration of the class so that the lessons are productive.

We also offer our TIFEM Kids class (catered to ages 2-5 years old), a group drop-in class, which can be a fantastic way to initiate your child with music lessons, and the TIFEM environment without committing to private studies. As soon as you see your child is ready, just let us know, and we will set up your private lessons with an appropriate instructor at a convenient time.

What is the best way to help your child learn and appreciate music?

The best way to enhance the process of learning and appreciating music is to positively encourage as much home practice in-between lessons. Be aware what the instructor suggests to practice each week so you can help remind them of the concepts and songs to play. As well, you can introduce more and more music to them through listening. Play your favourite recordings, and encourage them to discover what music inspires them. There are numerous avenues for this exploration today, from recordings, films, television shows, youtube and even on the radio driving in the car. Some of our students love to explore music that they have just seen in their favourite new animated feature film or video game. We are always learning new music here at TIFEM because of them!

How long should my child be practicing per week?

Try to encourage as much practice each week as possible. This can be tricky for a parent with a young child studying music. Most children have homework, and a lot of extracurricular activities, so finding time can be difficult. We often suggest dedicating a small amount of time each day to practicing music. We always witness success with children who have built a regular practice routine. Hopefully, the child will eventually build a love of music that is truly their own, and then no encouragement will be needed. They will want to spend time immersed in the wonderful world of music.

Do you offer group lessons or just one-on-one private lessons?

Besides all the private one-on-one lessons that happen daily we have a variety of group drop-in classes. These are weekly inexpensive classes that you never need to commit or register for, and are scheduled at a regular time. Check here for all the details about TIFEM’s Drop-in Group classes. Also, if you would like to have the private experience but with a small group of friends or family, we also offer Private Group lessons, which are scheduled exactly like private lessons (based on your availability), but for more than one person at a time. Two people is enough to constitute a group. Check here for the details about TIFEM’s Private Group lessons.

Why is your music school different from others?

At TIFEM, music lessons are tailored to the student’s musical interests, goals and learning style. Our faculty approaches each lesson creatively, allowing the spontaneity of the moment to balance a well thought-out and organized lesson plan.

Lesson content and methodology are catered specifically to the individual, with the enjoyment of music as the constant theme. Students receive an abundance of rich and practical ideas towards achieving their musical goals. A logical, organic path is drawn out for each student in accordance with their listening preferences, and personal ambitions.

Each teacher’s goal is to identify, enrich and develop the student’s unique relationship with music.

More Questions?

Call us (416-504-5444) or email us with any other questions you have:

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