FAQs

Q: What does the online music program include for $19.95 per month?

A: Everything! It includes the “live” classes online and more than 1,600 step-by-step videos. Your entire family can learn to play 20 different instruments, if you like —in the comfort of your own home. Your family membership gives you unlimited access 24 hours per day to the entire online lesson program.

Q: Is the online program $19.95 per instrument? Or per student?

A: Neither. It includes lessons for all the instruments for the entire family.

Q: How many family members are included in the family membership?

A: All of them: children and parents. There is no limit to the number of students at your house who can take full advantage of the program. As a bonus, it even includes grandparents.

Q: Do I have to sign up for a year or more?

A: No. There is no long-term commitment. You can go month to month, if you like. Start and stop anytime. Many people choose to pay by the year to save $50, but you don’t have to.

Q: Which instruments can my family learn to play?

A: Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, Violin/fiddle, Mandolin, Recorder, Harmonica, Dulcimer, Drums, Rhythm Instruments, Cajón, Baritone Ukulele, 5-string Banjo, Tenor Banjo, Plectrum Banjo, 6-string Banjo. This year we have also added Flute, tin whistle (penny whistle, Irish whistle), Fife, and Pan Flute to our online learning program. Additional instruments coming soon.

Q: How old does a child need to be in order to start learning to play music?

A: Depending on the child and the instrument, ages 3-6. In the past, younger children were discouraged from starting at any early age; most teachers would not accept students who could not already read well; this was usually age 8 or older. However, because Learn the Play has so many easy songs at the beginning, it’s possible to start much earlier, providing that they have an instrument that is the correct size for them. Just keep in mind that small children need very short practice sessions (just a few minutes at a time to start) and supervised practice for awhile, until they learn how to do it by themselves.

Here are some approximate ages to start different instruments: Violin: age 3; Piano: age 4; Rhythm instruments: age 2; Guitar/Ukulele: age 5-6; Mandolin: age 6-7; Recorder/Harmonica: age 5-6; Dulcimer: age 5-6; Banjo-ukulele (This is a combo banjo & ukulele): age 5/6; Drums: age 4-5 (cajón); Keep in mind that small children need very short practice sessions & supervised practice at first.

If you need help finding the correct size instrument for your child, call us at (502) 413-5443 and we’ll be happy to  help. Learn to Play has all the different instruments available in all sizes and can ship anywhere.

Q: Which is the best instrument for a child to start with?

A: The best and easiest instrument to learn to play is the one your child really wants to play! Sometimes parents force a child to start with an instrument they aren’t particularly interested in playing, usually because the parent has heard somewhere that piano is the best instrument to start with. While it’s true that piano is a good basic instrument, using both treble and bass clefs, it’s also true that a child who really wants to play a different instrument, guitar or violin, for example, will usually not do very well with piano. Most students are drawn to a particular instrument, usually because they love the sound of it; if they are allowed to pursue the instrument that is in their heart, they will always be more successful at learning to play.

If your child has no instrument preference, or wants to play several different instruments including piano, and if you happen to have a piano, then piano is an excellent choice to start.

Q: How much of my time is required to help my child learn to play music?

A: Not much, unless they are very young! If your children are doing the online classes/videos, the only thing you need to do is make sure they take one lesson each week and practice a little each day in between lessons. Then just provide praise and encouragement!

Q: How much practice does it take to be successful?

A: Practicing often (daily) for short periods is more important than doing a long practice session once or twice weekly. Most beginning students, particularly young children start by practicing 5-10 minutes each day (or multiple times daily). As students progress, their practice time expands as well. It generally rounds out at about a half hour each day for most recreational students. Students wanting to make faster progress may want to practice more than that. High school students planning to go professional and certainly college students majoring in music would practice longer.

Q: Do I have to start at the beginning of a school year?

A: No. You can start anytime of the year. All the classes are available all the time, so you can start today, if you like.

Q: Do I need any special equipment to do “live” classes?

A: No. You can connect to your class using any computer, laptop, tablet, or phone. (You can even connect by calling in on a landline, if you don’t have an internet connection). You don’t need a webcam to observe a live class; you only need one if you want to interact with your teacher during the class. Most laptops, tablets, and smart phones have built-in cameras, so it’s very easy to fully participate in your class. If you are using a desktop computer, you will need to add a webcam in order for your teacher to see you and hear you. However, they are very inexpensive and easy to use.

Q: Which is better: “live” classes or video classes?

A: Both have exactly the same content; all the videos were originally “live” classes. While the “live” classes are interactive, most families opt to do the videos because of their great flexibility. There are more than 1,500 step-by-step videos, offering many additional options, and are available 24 hours per day, allowing students to take their lessons anytime that’s convenient. Using videos, students can even take multiple classes per week, allowing each student to progress at his/her own rate of speed.

Q: Do I have to pay extra for either the “live” classes or the video classes?

A: No. Everything is included in your basic Family Membership.

Q: If I am doing pre-recorded videos, how do I ask a question?

A: You can contact your teacher anytime by email or phone. There are also “live” support sessions every week so that you can meet with your teacher face to face at no charge.

Q: Do I have to pay extra to contact my teacher directly?

A: No. If you have a question, you can contact your teacher anytime by email or by phone. There is no charge.

Q: What are my chances for success with the Learn to Play program?

A: 100% —if you do it! You need to schedule one lesson per week and a little time to practice each day, then stick to the schedule. Don’t let anything interfere. If you have to miss a lesson or practice, reschedule it ASAP, later the same day, if possible.

Q: Do I need to have an instrument in order to get started?

A: Yes. You will need to have an instrument in order to take your lessons and to practice.

Q: In order to do well, do I need to have an expensive instrument?

A: No. Your instrument needs to be the right size; it can’t be too big for you. It doesn’t have to be expensive; it only needs to be in good working order and in tune. (Digital tuners are only $19.95.)

Q: If I don’t have an instrument, how do I know which one to buy and how much I should pay for it?

A: If you don’t have a good independent music store locally, please contact us at Learn to Play (502) 413-5443 (www.learntoplay.biz); we will be happy to help you find a good reasonably priced instrument.

Q: If I have a portable keyboard, can I use that for lessons? Or do I need an actual piano?

A: A keyboard will work just fine. There’s no need to have a full-size piano in order to start lessons.

Q: If I’m doing the online lessons, do I still need books?

A: Yes. During our lessons, we will work through the curriculum together page by page, playing each song together during class. Between classes, you will use your books to practice for the next class. Some of our books are available digitally now. If you have a question about that, please contact us.

Q: Which books do I need in order to start?

A: Depending on which classes you want to do, you will need either an individual book, a Starter Pak of 6 books, or a Complete Set. For a quick answer of exactly which books you’ll need, please contact Learn to Play by phone (502) 413-5443 or by email (customerservice@learntoplay.biz). We’ll be happy to help. To research it on your own, please check out the articles and videos such as: “How Does the Online Learning Program Work?”, “What Kinds of Classes are Available?”, and “How Does the Curriculum Work?”. Also please check our catalog online at the website; it lists all the books available for each instrument, each level.

Q: Can more than 1 student in the same family share the same music books?

A: Yes. If you have several family members learning to play the same instrument, you can all share the same books. Just use different color tabs to mark each student’s starting page for the week. The only book you may want multiple copies of would be the Theory Workbook, since students write in that book. If you need extra copies, contact us by phone (502) 413-5443 or email (customerservice@learntoplay.biz); there is a major discount if you purchase extra Theory Workbooks at the same time you order your Starter Paks or Complete Sets.

Q: Can I attend a “live” class if I’m sick?

A: Absolutely! If you feel up to sitting at your computer (or tablet or phone) and taking your class, please attend. After all, you can’t infect anybody else in the class since it’s online! If you have a mild illness like a cold for example, you will probably choose to attend class, armed with a box of tissues; if you have to log off the class early, no problem.

Q: Do I need to dress up for the “live” classes?

A: No. All the “live” classes are informal, including the “Get Togethers”. Just wear something comfortable.

Q: During a “live” class that is being recorded, are the student’s webcam images recorded, too?

A: No, students’ videos are never recorded. Only the teacher’s video is recorded. The audio (sound) is recorded, so if a student asks or answers a question, the question/answer will be heard on the video, but the students are not identified.

Q: Can I learn to play using just the curriculum alone, without the online classes and videos?

A: Yes. The Learn to Play curriculum was originally developed as a home study program, to be taught by homeschool Moms who had little or no musical training at all. It’s very user friendly. All the material is presented in a clear, understandable way. There is a comprehensive Teaching Manual, and an easy-to-use lesson plan.

Q: What’s the difference between the Learn to Play curriculum and other method books?

A: Learn to Play focuses on building a strong musical foundation right from the beginning. We do this by developing excellent reading skills, starting with the very first level. For students who read music well, nothing is difficult, so students actually look forward to practicing. We never rush through the basics. For that reason, there are 1,200 songs in the first level, rather than the usual 25-30 in most methods. It’s the equivalent of having lots of easy readers when you’re learning to read. Students are able to master 20-30 easy songs each week, as opposed to playing one difficult song all week and still not mastering it.  The graduated collection of songs results in a permanent library of the world’s most beautiful and well-loved music from America and around the world; lesson books are never discarded; Level 2 & 3 students go back to their Level 1A books to learn to improvise.. Additionally, all the music for all the different instruments matches; this means that no matter which instruments your family is learning to play, you can all play together, right from the beginning, including folk songs, children’s songs, fiddle tunes, even Christmas music. This has never happened before. It allows the entire family to be able to enjoy playing music together.

Q: Is this program only for beginners, or are there other more advanced levels?

A: The curriculum is available for most of the major instruments in 2-3 levels (Total of 100+ books per instrument, and 4,000-5,000 songs per instrument). You won’t run out of songs to play anytime soon! Additional levels are coming soon.

Q: While using the online videos, rather than “live” classes, how will I know which songs to practice for each week’s lesson?

A: There is a “Log” online for each instrument; it’s essentially a “lesson plan”. It lists every class we have ever done and which pages we play during each class. You can print out a copy of it for free anytime.

Q: Can I learn to play more than one instrument at a time? And, should I?

A: You can learn to play as many instruments as you like. However, if you have never played an instrument before and don’t yet read music, we would recommend that you start with one instrument. Choose the one you want to play the most. When you start to feel pretty comfortable with reading music and playing it, you certainly could consider adding another instrument. We have many students currently at Learn to Play who are learning to play 2,3, 4, even 5 different instruments. It’s not as difficult as you might think because all the instruments in our program use the same notes. So, once you learn to read music well on one instrument, you can easily take that knowledge and apply it to additional instruments.

Q: I’m an adult. How well can I expect to do with the Learn to Play lesson program?

A: You are likely to surprise yourself. Adults generally progress faster than children! That’s because adults practice with a purpose. When they sit down to practice for 5-10 minutes, they are totally focused. They’re not daydreaming or “fiddling around” (no pun intended!). For this reason, they can accomplish in 5-10 minutes more than a child can in a half hour. The secret to success is: Practice every day — even if it’s just for 5 minutes! You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in a year —even if you only practice 5 minutes each day. Try it & see! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Remember, if your children are doing the Learn to Play program online, your lessons are free! Join the fun. It’s only 5 minutes a day, right?

Q: Can I do this online program if I don’t have internet service?

A: Yes. You can add a DVD subscription to your membership. It’s especially for families who have either limited or no internet service. It’s reasonably priced to just barely cover the cost of the DVDs, sleeves, mailing boxes, and postage (adds $10 monthly to your membership). If you purchase a monthly DVD subscription, you will receive a monthly DVD shipment. If you purchase a yearly DVD subscription, you will receive a year’s worth of DVDs in your first shipment. On the yearly subscription, you will also get 2 month’s free; you save a total of $70 on your subscription.

Q: Are there any additional accessories I will need?

A: Other than your instrument and your books, nothing else is absolutely essential, however, there are a few helpful things you may want to consider. If you are playing any instrument other than piano/keyboard, you will want to have a music stand for your books ($19.95 from Learn to Play). If you are playing a stringed instrument, you will need a tuner to keep it in tune. (Learn to Play has good digital tuners for just $19.95.) Other optional (not essential) accessories include instrument polish & cloth, picks, extra set of strings, side winder (for changing strings), capo (for changing the key), strap, gig bag, & an instrument stand. For violin, you will need a Bow Hold Buddy ($29.95 at Learn to Play), a “Don’t Fret” fingerboard decal ($7.99 at Learn to Play), rosin ($4.95), and a shoulder rest ($3.99—$15.95); other optional accessories for violin include a mute, bow tracker, wrist practice aid, and peg lubricant, if needed. There is also a bow hold available for cello, as well as other cello accessories. If you don’t see what you need at the store, please call us at (502) 413-5443, or email us. An optional accessory for all instruments is a metronome. ($29.95 for a digital one w/15 rhythms and touch screen from Learn to Play).

Q: When is the best time to start?

A: Right now. There’s no reason to wait for a specific time of year. You can take your first lesson today! The sooner you start, the sooner your family will be playing music together. This wonderful musical buffet awaits. Come on in and take anything you want!

Q: What if I have questions and need additional support?

A: Please contact us either by phone (502) 413-5443 or at customerservice@learntoplay.biz