Currently I teach on an upright acoustic piano in my flat. It is located in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin.
What age do you teach:
I teach children from the age of 6 and up. In some cases I am willing to take a student at 5 depending on the trial lesson, the child's motivation, willingness to take directions and the parents willingness to be more hands-on in the learning process.
Do I need an instrument to begin:
Yes. Students need regular practice at home to progress so an instrument is necessary. You can find more information about suitable starter instruments below.
What kind of acoustic piano is suitable?
At the minimum the students piano should have 88 functional level keys and have a working sustain pedal. The piano should be tuned at least once a year and be able to reasonable hold the tuning.
What kind of digital piano (keyboard) is suitable?
Ideally a student would have a weighted 88 key digital piano with stationary pedals and an adjustable bench. Look for an instrument with a high voice polyphony count, weighted keys and hammer action. Personally, I prefer a casing around the keyboard as opposed to a stand as it provides a sturdy experience. Usually digital pianos with a full casing include a sturdy music desk (music holder) and built in pedals which won't slip around under the players feet. A good digital piano and bench set can often be found for under 1000€ new but keep in mind that great deals can be found second hand. I often find good secondhand digital pianos for 300 euros or under. Digital instruments also have the benefit of no annual tuning and rarely need maintenance.
What if I am not ready to purchase an instrument?
Renting an instrument can be a good option for families that are not ready to buy instruments yet. Most piano companies do rentals but I have linked a company below that also rents high quality keyboards and digitals.
There should be a definite practice routine every day. A beginning student should practice approximately 15 to 30 minutes while intermediate to advanced students should practice 30 to 60 minutes a day if not longer depending upon the material that has been assigned. Obviously these numbers are just a baseline and students practice will fluctuate based on how busy they are, their musical goals, age, and many other factors. I will help set realistic expectation with each student individually. I expect the parents to play an active role by communicating with me on practice expectations and seeing that they are followed. However, it is my goal to help my students develop effective practice techniques and time management skills so the can real their musical goals.
Practice for young beginners:
I am willing to take students at 6 years olds and sometimes as young as 5 depending on the particular child. For children this young practice goes a little differently. For one thing children this age group requires more parental support. I use a method called Piano Safari that utilizes a combination of rote learning (by ear), sightread pieces, and off the bench activities. Parents will need to be willing to download soundtracks and help student use them. Occasionally students will also watch reminder videos on Youtube. A fun way to use the soundtrack is to have the songs playing in the background while the child plays in the evening.
For this age group I recommend prating 5-10 minutes twice a day. 5 days during the week is a good practice goal. We intentionally try to keep practice short and fun to keep students engaged, excited and building the skills of daily discipline that later instrumental studies require.