Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. I teach them how to sight read music and understand theory. As well as developing talents in playing by ear. They also learn technique such as scales and arpeggios.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. Not applicable. There's always more to learn.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Contact me and find out about my services for the Phoenix area. Ask about music experience and education. Ask about piano lessons and how I teach, and for referrals. Ask if I teach children and adults and if I teach special needs individuals. Ask what sets me apart from other teachers. Ask what music methods I use and how long the lessons are. Take a music lesson and see how you like it . Ask about the benefits of music study and how you can improve through studying music. Ask about my location, directions, and come to see it.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. If I were a customer I would like to know how a music teacher works with children. If they are patient and understanding while teaching and if they are thorough in their teaching, explaining each new concept in every detail so that the student understands what is being taught. I would like to know what music the teacher uses and why it is superior to other music methods being used. I would like to know about the teacher's teaching experience and where they were educated, and if they are qualified to teach my child or me as an adult. I would ask if the teacher goes to homes or teaches from their studio. I would like to know that the teacher teaches music fundamentals such as counting, note names and rhythm.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Where are you located and do you go to student's homes or does the student go to you? Where is your studio, what kind of piano do you teach on, do you furnish music for students, and do you have a waiting area for parents and siblings? What music method do you use and how is it different than others being used? Do you teach rhythm and note reading? Do you teach theory and jazz? Do you have recitals and how often? Do you teach children and adults? Do you teach special needs children and adults? Do you provide music for students or do we buy our own? Do you teach on holidays or take vacations, and do you teach in the summer?
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Do you want an excellent, experienced piano teacher? Are you ready to commit to practicing daily and will you support your child who is taking lessons by encouraging them to follow the teacher's directions? Are you ready for the financial commitment and will you continue to study over the summer months? Do you have a piano or a keyboard to practice on or are you planning to purchase one? Are you ready to purchase the music necessary for music study as well as a metronome? Do you have time to take the student to lessons and help with practicing? Are you happy and excited about music lessons?
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I have been teaching children and adults how to play the piano for over thirty years and have learned so much during that time. It is so much fun to connect with a student and figure out what it takes to help them learn and love the music they play. This brings them and me much satisfaction. I am always patient and soft spoken as I teach the many important basics of music so necessary for a student to fully learn a piece. I also incorporate fun learning tools such as special music games that help students learn the fundamentals of music in a fun and enjoyable way. At my studio,
students play a beautiful baby grand piano, a rare treat.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. What I love most about my job is teaching a student how to perform beautiful music and sharing in the fun they have in accomplishing their musical goals. And, that we are able to do this in beautiful and comfortable surroundings. It is so fun inviting a student into my studio, teaching them how to sit at the piano properly, and then proceeding to introduce the wonderful world of music to them and witness their smiles and giggles as they play a fun piece for the first time. I love teaching the fundamentals of music such as note reading, rhythm and dynamics,
and helping students apply what they learn as they study each new piece.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Common questions and answers are:
Q: Am I accepting new students?
Q: What is my fee?
A: $30 per lesson
Q: Are the lessons private?
Q: What do you do at a lesson?
A; I use a traditional approach in teaching note reading
and rhythm, and follow the outline in the method books .
Q: What books do you use?
A: I normally use the popular Alfred method books but also use the Faber and Faber books,
as well as books the student already has if appropriate for their ability.
Q: What if the student misses a lesson?
A: A make up lesson may be scheduled at a later date.
Q: Are parents allowed to attend the lessons?
A: Yes, but as observers are often distracting, a comfortable waiting area is available within hearing distance, but out of sight. Arrangements are always
made according to the desires of student and parent.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I have taught many students with special needs. One in particular stands out as very special to me. They took lessons for about ten years. Despite the distractions of their difficulties, they stayed focused, practiced on a regular basis, followed directions very well, and learned to play the piano at an advanced level. This student was very talented. They continued to take lessons through high school and graduated. It was thrilling to watch them perform their beautiful piece at their last recital, but sad too, knowing I would no longer be teaching them as they were going away to college. I will miss this student but have wonderful, musical memories of the time we spent together at the piano.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I wish customers knew how much I enjoy teaching music and how much fun they could have learning. I believe I have the best profession in the world. It brings so much beauty into people's lives.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I started taking piano lessons when I was eight years old. I loved playing the piano and by third grade I knew I wanted to be a piano teacher. Continuing to learn and excel, I was able to study with the renowned Dr. Donald Isaak at Arizona State University while still in high school. During this time, even though very busy with school, and practicing several hours a day, as well as often performing, I started teaching some friends and family members. I enjoyed teaching and the money I was able to earn. Since that time I have given piano lessons to children and adults of all ages and in many different situations, and I think I always will because I love it that much.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. Recently I held two recitals, each consisting of approximately thirty students, including young children and adults. Most of them performed two pieces, some from memory. It came together beautifully. Students were pleased, and parents were proud.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I try to stay informed about the best method books to use and new, modern teaching techniques.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. One exciting, new idea which seems to be growing in popularity, is teaching using SKYPE. I have experimented with it could be very convenient for someone who is unable to leave their home for a piano lesson.
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. Not applicable
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. My pricing is not complicated, simply $110.00 per month.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. I would suggest that they get the best music education possible so they will be well prepared
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. My greatest strength is my ability to teach the student. I love the experience, and often the challenge, of figuring out how to present a new concept to a student in a way that they will thoroughly understand and enjoy learning it.
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. I am trying to be very prepared in my personal life and with my business so I will be able to do my best job teaching.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. Why take piano lessons from me, Julie Briggs?
Because my focus is on teaching the student to understand the music and how to play it. Also, how to practice at home without supervision if necessary, and to simply enjoy the experience of music involvement.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. What's the best age to start piano lessons?
I have had much success teaching four and five year old children. I use special books designed for the young beginner. I've also taught many adults. So it seems the student's desire is the most important consideration. They will accomplish much more, in less time if they have the desire to learn rather than being forced, no matter what age.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. How much should a student practice between lessons?
With young students, I suggest practicing fifteen to twenty minutes at least five times per week. During that time, I suggest practicing each assigned page at least three times or until it feels more familiar to them. As the student advances, more time should be spent practicing. Time spent practicing is a very personal thing as everyone's daily routine is different. But,I encourage thirty to sixty minutes as many times as possible per week. Of course, the more, the better.