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If you are new to the Waynesville-Saint Robert area, Kathy Miller Music Studio is located on Y Highway in Saint Robert. It is a full time studio for piano students of all levels. A typical lesson will include theory, technical excercise and review of the last assignment by a professional music teacher. Students are encouraged to compose their own original music and even enter them in competitions. (To read the Daily Guide article about 2008 composition winners, click on this link: Daily Guide Article.) Computers and digital pianos are used to enhance the quality of music education in the areas of music theory, sightreading, and composition. Students who practice carefully each day with parental encouragement, a good piano, and an enthusiastic teacher will achieve success.

By reading the FAQ below, most of your questions will be answered. Please contact me at k2miller@embarqmail.com if you would like to visit the studio.

Kathy Miller NCTM

piano studio

Do you have any openings? I have a few times open in afternoon and evening.

What is the best age to begin piano lessons? A child may be ready for piano lessons as young as four, but most beginners are ready at about ages 7 - 9 years old.

Do I need a piano? You will need a piano with 88 keys, pedals, and a bench. Acoustic pianos (the traditional instruments with strings) are the still the best, but digital pianos have improved dramatically in the last 10 years. Small portable keyboards are not suitable for piano lessons as they do not have pedals, are not full sized and do not have the same "touch" as a real piano. The difference between them is enormous; comparable to driving a lawn tractor versus driving a car. Both have steering wheels, tires and gasoline engines but function very differently.

What kind of digital piano do you recommend? Yamaha 635 Digital Piano. These are excellent and available at the Guitar Center in Springfield, MO. You will also need to purchase an M-Audio SP2 sustain pedal ($29.99) and also a ProLine Bench PL #1250 ($69.99) .

How much is tuition? It depends on the whether the student is taking 45 minute or 60 minute lessons. The studio policy has all the information about tuition.

What are a few of the special activities that students can choose to participate in? Last year each student produced their own CD to give parents as a Christmas present. There are many performing opportunites: Gold Cup Festival (NFMC), MMTA auditions, RAMTA theory testing and evaluations. COMP composition competition is sponsored by UMC.

Do you teach adult beginners? Yes, I have several adult students.

Do you teach singing? Piano students age 12 and up can add vocal training by increasing lesson time from 45 min. to 60 min. for an additional charge of $20 per month.

What kind of music do you teach? I teach the standard classical repertoire but also integrate pop, jazz, hymns, romantic, praise & worship, etc. depending on the student's personal preferences.

How often do we come to lessons? Once a week for a private 45 or 60 minute lesson. The cost of tuition is explained in detail in the studio policy. In addition to the private lesson students also have a theory and sightreading assignment in the computer lab.

Do parents attend lessons with the child? Parents of students under the age of 10 must attend lessons with the child. This gives the parent valuable insights on how to work with the student at home. Even older children benefit when the parent attends the lesson.

Who tunes pianos in this area? Sam Casey is a very professional and reliable piano tuner. His phone number is 417-859-6783. He is also a very good resource for locating good used pianos. Pianos that have been maintained with a regular piano tuning each year are much more likely to be worth buying. Old "clunkers" that haven't been tuned in 20 years are rarely good bargains.

How long should my child practice each day? First and second year students - 30 - 45 minutes per day; Third year students - 45 - 60 minutes per day; Fourth year students - 60 plus minutes per day; More advanced students will need to practice more when preparing for recitals, auditions, festivals and competitions.

What does NCTM stand for? Nationally Certified Teacher of Music. This is professional certification from Music Teachers National Association. I am also a member of Missouri Music Teachers Association and was selected in 2009 for the Missouri Music Teacher of the Year award. To read the article in the Daily Guide, please click on the link. Teacher of the Year