Q. I know my child is not going to be a musician.  Why does it matter what studio I bring them to?

A. In a nutshell: Your child only gets 17 years of childhood. Just like when they learn a language or any other recreational skill, perfecting it during this window is easier than trying to learn as an adult; nature designed the human brain this way. If your child loves music (not just the lessons or the teacher, but listening to and performing music), why not give them an opportunity to study it the real, traditional way and see where it goes? They may not go to college for music or become a performer, but we've had kids who are now bankers, programmers and even antique dealers who love having the lifelong gift of being a good musician. They use this skill to socialize, communicate non-verbally, stand out in the crowd, up their self esteem, sharpen their minds, broaden their resumes and have a creative outlet outside of their everyday lives. 

It's also to be said that places offering a loosely based structure and a poor portfolio of student and teacher performances are not going to be effective toward learning. Simply put, you will be wasting your money. Because we all went to school and have personally been through everything we teach, we understand how our students' minds work at all ages and stages of their learning. Traditional teaching methods began thousands of years ago and were what we all used, and had inexperienced teachers sold our parents something different, we may not be the players that we are today. In fact, music in itself will die altogether if students and parents stop treating it for what it really is: a discipline. Imagine a world without music....very scary!

FAQ's with Miss Kate

Q. Online lessons seem really convenient and many studios are now offering them....why not yours?

A. Easy answer: You can't ever replace via internet the way a teacher can adjust a student’s arm or hand in real time. A huge part of teaching students revolves around physically working with their hands, whether it's re-positioning, exercising, or demonstrating technique and artistry. Online lessons are immediately satisfying, but are not really effective toward young students in their beginning path to learning. The only time we do online coaching sessions is with our intermediate/advanced students, right before a recital for fine-tuning. While they may make absences seem more attractive, parents should be questioning why there are so many absences in the first place! Just like sports and dance, learning an instrument requires physical attendance. 

Q. Studios and schools are everywhere nowadays....why YOUR studio?  

A. Hubbels Music is not just a job for me: It's my life. I live, breathe and function around making my students the best they can be, and the producer side of me loves the challenge of learning a piece, perfecting it and seeing the music come to life on a stage. I'm always available for any questions, audition help or rehearsals, no matter what time of night. Just recently, a student's mother called me at at a quarter to ten in the evening because her son was confused about his jazz band music. I would much rather get that call and help out vs. the student learning the piece wrong and not being prepared for his class. As for performance opportunities, the more the merrier! While kids are not forced to perform, they are encouraged to do so because it helps them learn to try, do their best and not be afraid of putting themselves out there. 

My wonderful staff and I are all on the same page. I can't say enough good things about them; they are just so talented, vibrant, funny, caring and are always going that little extra distance to ensure that our students play to their full potential. We love getting to know the students: The chats, the funny stories, the personal talks, but our lessons are never a play date. The number one priority is seeing them grow as musicians, and our very involved parents love our dedication to their children and the arts. We've seen every type of learner under the sun: The preschoolers, the older beginners, the naturally gifted, the YouTube learners, the kinesthetic learners, the readers, the "dark horses".....the list goes out the door. Our program is individualized yet structured, and our track record and media speaks for itself. We love how our pianists are becoming known in the area as dependable choices for school programs!

Q. I really want my child to stick with an instrument, but he/she has never found one that was the right fit. Also, my child hates practicing. Is practice really necessary? 

A. Different instruments are like apples and oranges, and many jack-of-all-trade teachers will let a student dabble from one instrument to the next to make things easier. Guitar is very different from bass guitar, and strings and guitars are nothing like the piano. Drums are sold as the "easiest" instrument but professionals know that they require finesse and bodily coordination (here's a little secret: pianists and organists are natural "feel" drummers because of our hand and foot coordination!). While we allow new students to try multiple instruments in the building, we expect them to stick and commit to one. When we as teachers align with you as the parent, a child can learn that staying with one instrument is not so bad, and will be rewarded with seeing fantastic results vs. continuously starting over. A second instrument can be always picked up in time, and the knowledge built up from excelling on the primary makes learning the secondary so much easier! I also play viola and the electric bass, and my piano education fostered the learning of both. 

As for practice: You will not grow on an instrument without practice. Because we help foster the genuine love our kids have for playing, they tend to not look as practice as a chore, but rather a necessity. We also teach them practice habits in their lessons, many of which are common sense yet surprisingly overlooked. Students also are motivated to keep up with their Hubbels peers, and parents enjoy the support network around them from other Hubbels parents. 

Q. What is the difference between having a teacher come to my home vs. bringing the student into a studio setting? 

A. I actually had teachers come to my home when I was a kid. I found that while I did learn, I had never seen how my playing stacked up to other kids my age and level. I was usually one of the most advanced in any recitals I played, and auditioning for colleges was huge shocker. Had I been in a studio setting, I would have not only gotten to see and hear other kids (which would have been so inspiring!), but also would have loved collaborating with other pianists and instrumentalists. My friends took lessons at the old Northern Westchester Performing Arts Center, and I always really wished I had gotten that  "college arts department" feel when I was learning!