FAQs

How is Qian Tutor different to other tuition or music studios?

Students benefit from:

  • Unique lessons that are fun but still the right level of challenging

  • Brilliant studio student projects

  • Joining a supporting community that values life-long learning

What lesson length is best?

- Music lessons are 30, 45 or 60mins (length based on teacher recommendations). Academic tuition are 60mins. Click here to read more about why 45 minutes are optimal, and how the lesson length is decided.

Where are lessons held?

- Online lessons via Zoom. In-person lessons in Sutton, at the studio. For Piano, Maths, Science and 11+ lessons.

Is there a trial period?

- A consultation is first required for all prospective students and families. This allows assessment for the student-teacher-parent working relationship. The full-price trial period for a prospective student lasts 1-2 months, allowing to gauge their interests, attitude and performance during lessons and during home practise. After this period, this is reviewed and a decision is made regarding lessons. Qian Tutor is not a music academy nor tuition franchise.

What is the studio's availability with lessons?

- Usually the studio is fully booked during the academic year. Sutton is a competitive borough for both Piano and 11+, hence private tuition is an important factor to increase the chance of success. Booking a consultation does not guarantee a space, and prospective students may be placed on the waiting list. Read reviews to see why so many students learn with Qian Tutor!

How is tuition paid?

- Payment method is discussed during the consultation. Qian Tutor is advertised on websites such as Tutorful, Superprof or Tutorhouse.

Whom are the other students?

- The studio has usually 25 students ranging from ages 6-60 and complete beginner- late intermediate, both online and in-person. The studio specialises in teaching Piano to both child and adults, from complete beginner to late intermediate. Read more about the studio wide activities here.

What is the policy for cancellations, late attendance, rescheduling, make-up lessons, payment, refunds, safeguarding?

- Please read the policy for full information.

What is expected from students?

Student code of conduct:

  • Respect the instrument, studio space and instrument

  • Listen, follow instructions and focus during lesson

  • Bring required books and materials

  • Have a positive mindset, want to learn and progress

  • Practise smart be following practise plan and completing lesson assignments.

What is expected from parents?

​Parent code of conduct:

  • Encourage student at home with practise by being an active listener and implementing teacher's advice

  • Being organised with exam, recital and assignment deadlines

  • Willing to invest in a quality practise instrument & accessories

  • Respect and value the teacher, lesson time and student-teacher-parent working relationship

  • Understand learning requires long-term discipline, commitment and investment

Is a piano at home required?

- Yes. Acoustic pianos are strongly preferred, but a full-size weighted keyboard is the minimum requirement before beginning lessons. A piano stool that is height adjustable and a stand for the sheet music are also useful. Get piano advice on the blog

How much piano practise is needed?

- This depends on the age, ability and motivation to progress. Most importantly, daily practise is needed and weekly assignments are completed.

  • Young students and beginners: 10-20 minutes a day

  • Elementary students: 20-30 minutes a day

  • Intermediate students: 30-45 minutes a day

  • Advanced students: 45-60 minutes a day

What books are needed?

- Students and parents will be advised which books to purchase. This is tailored to individual students. Examples of books are available on the website. Click here to see my Piano book library and buy your books.

Does the studio accept adult students?

- Yes. Adults of all ages are welcome, you are never too old to learn. Specific advice for adult students can be found in my blog.

What's the youngest age of child the studio accepts?

- 6 years old. Independently knows their alphabet and colours, LH and RH, count numbers in a cycle, follows instructions, good reading and writing, can sit and focus for 30mins, good hand co-ordination, interested in learning, supportive family.

Do students get opportunities to perform piano?

- Yes. Recitals, local music festivals and host studio recording sessions are some of these opportunities. Read about it here

Do students need to do piano exams?

- Entering ABRSM graded exams is positively encouraged.

Do you offer group lessons?

- No. Teaching individual students to give them full attention and tailored lessons.

What type of music do students learn?

- Classical music forms about 75% of the music genres covered. The remaining 25% includes jazz, blues, modern, contemporary pop, film. There are regular check-ins with students to explore musical tastes and their special requests to develop technique, musicality and enjoyment. Learn more about Piano lessons in Sutton here

How long will it take to learn piano?

- The answer depends on your learning ability, motivation to progress and practise routine at home. If taking regular weekly lessons alongside consistent smart practise, students learn the basics within 1-3 yrs, progress from beginner to intermediate within 4-6 years, become advanced within 7-10 years. Learn more about the piano learning experience here in the blog

Which piano is recommended?

- Recommendations are based on your main needs, budget and other factors. For the best quality, expect to invest at least £1000 on a digital piano and £5000 on an acoustic piano.

Is a piano tuner is recommend?

- Acoustic pianos need tuning at least once a year, and several times after moving house or environment. A well-looked after piano can maintain a good quality of sound and feel for 30-50 years.

Can students not purchase books and rely solely on digital sheet music?

- No. Books are an important investment and a key part of effective piano lessons. Browse what my library has and purchase your own books

Can you recommend other instruments to learn or orchestra opportunities?

- Yes, piano is a great gateway for learning other instruments. Youth and amateur orchestras in the Sutton and Kingston area are recommended.

Do students need regular lessons?

- Students benefit the best from regular weekly lessons. Fortnightly lessons are only available for adult advanced students.

What are the term dates of the lessons?

- The studio doesn't follow the school academic year. Lessons continue to be taught during half-terms, Christmas break, Easter break and summer holidays. Students or parents need to notify me in advance if they wish to skip lessons during these holiday periods.

What is Tonara?

- Tonara is an app that used to support students outside of lessons. This is the platform where students access their weekly assignments, follow their practise plan and interact with the studio students. Points are given for good practise, daily practise times can be tracked, practise recordings are reviewed and feedback provided between lessons. Learn more about how technology in Piano lessons in Sutton is used.

What are online piano lessons like?

- Using a fantastic set-up, online lessons are fun, engaging and effective. This set-up includes: professional microphone, overhead camera for keys, side camera for technique, real-time on-screen sheet music annotation, software (Sibelius, Classroom Maestro).Find out about the equipment the studio uses for online lessons

Where can I find advice as a student or piano parent?

- Read my blog page. There are articles written include: piano recommendations, motivation tips, guide for beginner parents, intermediate player skill checklist.

Does the studio specialise in teaching jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, pop, composition or improvisation?

- No. As a classically trained pianist, the teaching reflects 50-75% classical music. Whilst the above is covered, they are not the sole focus.

What does the lesson fee contribute towards?

- It contributes to improving the services for students and families. This includes: regular studio maintenance, expanding the teaching library to ensure relevancy and syllabus up-to-date, access to Tonara for all piano students, communication with teacher between lessons, lesson preparation, lesson time, piano parent evenings and report cards, recital, motivation materials, professional equipment for online lessons, teacher training courses.

What input do students and families have?

- Regular surveys are sent out to gauge the key strengths of the studio, provide feedback on services and most importantly: give suggestions for improvement. These are reivewed and if appropriate, acted upon. Special requests are taken from piano students for repertoire to learn.