Music is inherent in us. Most of us begin to sing before we even begin to talk! Music--especially singing--is central to our very being, and is essential to our development as people. That said: piano/vocal study can begin at a fairly early age, as young as 4 (see note below). However, parents are very actively involved in the learning process for the very young student, and need to be aware of the time commitment they are taking on. Very young students, ages 4 - 7, require weekly or bi-weekly lessons of between 15 - 30 minutes each, with the parent actively involved in the lessons and the practice sessions at home. Grade school students typically receive 30 - 45 minute lessons once a week, with the parent present in the lesson and very active at home. Children in grades 6 - 8 receive a 30-minute lesson once per week. Parents are invited, but not required, to attend. Students in 9th grade and higher receive 30 - 60-minute lessons once or twice a week. Parents are always invited to attend lessons.
Practice can be a constant battle, which is no fun for anyone. I encourage open dialogue between student and parent: that the student understand that the parent is trying to help, and that the parent remember that actually STARTING practice each day is often the most difficult part. Make a pact to be gentle with each other from the outset.
I also encourage the use of a stopwatch rather than a timer for practice timings. Even as an adult, it is much more satisfying to see how long I have actually practiced than to count the minutes until I can be done.
Another practice tip is to allow the child to take frequent breaks, always remembering to re-start the stopwatch. I find that a specific goal (such as fixing the fingering in a two measure passage, or sing the letter names on two or three songs) is much more efficient than just slogging through the songs in the book. Another practice tip: the "never pass the piano" rule. Have the child never pass the piano without sitting down and playing something. The time adds up surprisingly fast! :)
If practice is good at the beginning of the week but suffers after day 3 or 4 because they are bored or frustrated, your child may need to enter our G&T program, as outlined in #4 above. If you are interested in this service, speak with Michelle McIntire about enrolling your child in this program.
We do not travel to teach lessons.
Lesson times vary. Typically lessons are once weekly for 30 - 60 minutes.
Lessons are an on-going process, very similar to weight training. When you get into the kind of shape you want, lessons may become less frequent, but will never stop all together. As in weight training, once you're in shape, you have to work to stay there! They are also similar to studying a language. Music is a language. As with any language, it takes years to become truly fluent.
Lesson books, notebook, materials, water bottle (singers), flash drive or smart technology to record your lesson, pencil.
You will be responsible for your own music, notebooks, etc. All students need a 3 subject spiral note book and either a metronome or an app on their smart technology. Piano students need a full keyboard or a piano. Voice students need access to an mp3 player and a computer.
We offer periodic studio classes for voice students, occasional piano studio classes, and two full recitals per year. Studio Class meets once or twice a semester. During this class, singers sing for each other, get to know one another, and learn how to critique and be critiqued. This is an unparalleled opportunity for vocal and musical growth, one usually available only to voice majors. It also provides you with another venue for honest feedback about your voice. Try to attend as many Studio Classes as possible. Please make it your goal to come to all of them. Selections will be either memorized 'complete' or designated 'work in progress'.
Studio Recitals are required for all students in school. Adults are STRONGLY encouraged to do the recitals as well.
McIntire Studios participates in NATS competitions, MTNA festivals, and has the expectation that students will participate in district choir auditions and solo and ensemble festival through their MSHSAA member schools. Also, as a member of ACDA, McIntire Studios offers the opportunity for singers to audition for district, regional, and national honor choirs.