FAQ

At PPS, we don’t nickel and dime you with added fees.  All student’s basic tuition includes their weekly lesson, school-wide events and program activities as well as provides access to many PPS services and resources.  We choose to do this so that students are encouraged to participate and learn as much as possible while they attend PPS.
There are no additional fees for Recitals, Honors Recitals, the Annual PPS Competition, AAPA or CM teacher participation fees, access to the PPS Recording Studio, or access to the PPS Foundation’s Music Lending Library.  We even provide recordings of student recitals at no additional cost.  Tuition rates for additional lessons, theory classes and group supervised practice sessions are listed in our pricing guide.

The right length of time depends on the goals and age of the student.   Younger players under 8 years old generally benefit most from shorter, more frequent lessons.  As a player develops, 45 to 60 minute weekly lessons tend to have the best results.  You can request a free evaluation with one of our instructors to get a personalized recommendation before committing. 

We do offer virtual lessons that you can take in your home!  Because travel time and cost is prohibitive for instructors, we can only offer in person lessons at our school locations.   

Pacific Piano School is not just a place for music lessons, but is committed to a wholistic music education for all its students.  Lessons are only one aspect of being a member of the school.  We ask for each student to commit to regular performances.  Also, PPS requires theory classes for those preparing for exams (Certificate of Merit and AAPA), hosts an annual competition for all ages, and encourage our students to participate (and win!) outside competitions.  

We are open 7 days per week, and availability varies throughout the year.  We almost always have some availability, but the most requested times and days usually have a waiting list.  The best way to find out is to give us a call at 408-599-3535 to discuss upcoming openings and to sign up for a free trial session.

Our Competition Program, which select instructors participate in is geared towards very serious students who want to focus on preparing for and winning competitions accepts students on a rolling basis by audition with the instructor.  Acceptance to this program isn’t solely based on pre-existing skill but also takes into consideration potential and the commitment of the students and parents to the program.  Students that are new to music can be accepted to this program and if you are interested, contact us at frontdesk@pps.school or 408-599-3535.

There is a place for everyone of any age at PPS.  We regularly have adult students, pre-schoolers, and everyone in between.   However the youngest students often have limited attention span and motor control.  For these pre-K students we developed our Little Mozarts program.  This parental involvement music class teaches the fundamentals of music to small children who are not yet ready to learn effectively on the keyboard.  When ready, students 4-8 years old can graduate to a group piano classes, teaches younger students the basics of piano in a fun, relaxed environment.  Starting around age 4-6, students may be ready to move to shorter half-hour private lessons.  After age 8, we recommend 45-60 minute lessons to for the fastest progress.  We are happy to evaluate each student to recommend which class will give them the best start learning music.

Music theory is a critical subject to learn for all musicians.  It allows each student to understand music on a deep level and helps them progress more quickly.  It becomes especially important when preparing for the annual Certificate of Merit and AAPA examinations we require of our students.  While general music theory is incorporated into lessons as required for each piece, we offer and strongly encourage all students 8 and older attend music theory classes with one of our faculty members.  Music theory is a required component of CM examinations, and as such is required for students preparing for that examination.  We teach all levels of Music Theory, up to and including the AP level.

Always.  Practice makes perfect!  PPS is dedicated to encouraging every student to reach their full potential, and students will not be able to do that if they don’t practice.  Your level of practice will vary based on your goals, your program, and your level.  The youngest students should practice at least 15 minutes per day, 5-6 days per week.  The time required will grow as your student develops as a player and takes on longer, more challenging pieces of music.

We have a multitude of performance and evaluation opportunities at PPS every year, including 3 main recitals (Fall, Spring & Summer).  You are free to participate in any or all of our in-house events every year at no additional cost beyond your monthly tuition.

Sadly, the biggest mistake some people make is in the selection of a first teacher. While it is good to shop around, the best teachers have extensive experience, expertise, and training.  We get many students that come in with bad habits and poor techniques from past instructors that hold up their progress and must be unlearned.  It pains our Faculty to see many students spend their formative years with inexperienced and unknowledgeable teachers.  The typical instructor at PPS holds a doctorate level degree in music performance or pedagogy.  Our curriculum is designed and taught by the best of the best to allow students to reach their full potential as musicians.  The success of our students is a testament to the quality of our program what great music education can do to benefit people of all ages.

We have taught many adult students over the many years PPS has existed.  We find on average adult students at more highly motivated, disciplined, and have better concentration.  This makes them excellent students who tend to progress quickly.

Great Question!  We have many amazing instructors, and each has their own personal style and emphasis.  Some emphasize strict and high expectations, some have a more nurturing and calm teaching style.  All are highly skilled teachers.  Some emphasize performance, others emphasize practice and personal enrichment.  Every student has different goals and reasons for learning music. We have several different private lesson programs to account for this, and because of this every student will find a home at PPS with one of our instructors.  Want to learn more about which teacher might be a good fit for your goals?  Contact us now!

PPS is open 7 days per week, and appointments are available as late at 9pm.  During the week, we are open between 2pm-9pm, and 9am-9pm on weekends.   Administrator Hours are between 12pm-5pm M-F.  We are closed on some major holidays, see the School Calendar for more details.

It is best to match the program to your student’s goals.  Luckily our instructors are experts at bringing the best out of each student and designing a personalized curriculum to get the most out of each lesson.

Call us at 408-599-3535 or email us at frontdesk@pps.school for more information about our programs or to sign up for a free trial lesson or conversation with one of our instructors.  If you are ready to start right away, you can use this enrollment form and we will contact you within 24 hours to set up your first lesson!

PPS has flexible rescheduling policies, and we allow students to reschedule in person lessons with at least 24 hour notice to the front desk.   You can also attend any lesson virtually at the school with 1 hour notice.  Make up credits given in this way can be used for lessons  when openings become available, extra theory classes, additional supervised practice sessions, and other classes, but must be used before they expire in 60 days.  See our policies for your specific program for details and limitations.

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