Frequently Asked Questions

Music Moves For Piano

  1. What is the sequence of Music Moves for Piano classes?
  2. How does Music Moves for Piano prepare students for traditional private lessons?
  3. What are the practicing expectations?
  4. How do I prepare the practice space at home?
  5. When are classes held?
  6. What is the class calendar?
  7. How does registration work for continuing students?
  8. How does Term I (fall/winter) registration work for new students?
  9. How does Term II (spring) registration work for new students?
  10. What is priority registration?
  11. Are there Music Moves for Piano classes in the summer?
  12. What are Brookline Music School’s policies (absences, tardiness, withdrawal/refund, discounts, parking, school closings)?
  13. Are parents/caregivers allowed to stay for class?

What is the sequence of Music Moves for Piano classes?

Brookline Music School Class Name Music Moves for Piano Book
Book A1 First half of Book 1
Book A2 Second half of Book A
Book B1 First half of Book B
Book B2 Second half of Book B
Book B1 Prep All of of Book B
Book 1A First half of Book 1
Book 1B Second half of Book 1, rote solos*
Book 2A End of Book 1, beginning of Book 2, rote solos
Book 2B Middle of Book 2, rote solos
Book 3A End of Book 2, beginning of Book 3, rote solos
Book 3B, 3C, 3D Book 3, rote solos, music reading and writing
* Rote solos are pieces learned through informed listening, moving, and tonal/rhythm patterns over the course of several weeks. These are often longer and more challenging pieces used in recitals.

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How does Music Moves for Piano prepare students for traditional private lessons?

Children can start Music Moves for Piano as early as age 4. Whether your child stays in the Music Moves for Piano program, continues to private piano instruction, or switches to a different instrument, Music Moves for Piano will provide the musical readiness for success.

Music Moves for Piano begins piano instruction by ear. The method is based on research of how one learns music, and from the very first lesson, students learn to audiate (understand music) while developing keyboard performing skills. As students continue in the program, groups become smaller (from 4 to 2 or 3 students) as the material becomes more challenging. Musical skills, such as identifying tonality and meter, improvising, and learning tonal and rhythm functions, are practiced aurally and then applied to the piano. For more information on the Music Moves for Piano sequence, please refer to our Book Sequence (LINK).

Traditional private piano lessons at Brookline Music School vary in approach and curriculum by instructor, but typically place a greater emphasis on music notation. Students generally begin at age 6 or 7. Music Moves for Piano prepares students who want to move to private lessons with necessary skills such as singing in tune, keeping a steady beat, coordinating the body, moving stylistically, building a vocabulary of tonal and rhythm patterns, improvising, and performing with proper technique. Ideal times to make the switch to private lessons are after Book A, B, or Book 1 Prep, when your child has developed these important musical skills.

For more information or to discuss options for your child, please contact Cathy Marks at cmarks@bmsmusic.org.

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What are the practicing expectations?

Book A/B: Families should encourage students to practice frequently for short periods of time. At this level, students should play the pieces they have learned in class, review pieces they have already learned, listen to the CD, and create, improvise, and explore at the piano with various dynamics, articulation, and registers. Using rhythm patterns and chanting out loud while playing is important to maintain a consistent steady beat and to guide improvisation. For more information, please refer to the Practicing at Home page and the practice packet in the welcome e-mail your teacher sends at the beginning of the term.

Book 1: Students must have a piano/keyboard by Book 1 to practice at home. Book 1 begins formal learning, and students have practice assignments each week in their books. Similar to Books A and B, students are encouraged to practice more frequently for shorter periods of time rather than long practice sessions less frequently. Students are encouraged to practice 3-4 days per week for 15-30 minutes each day. Practicing includes working on the current unit and review units, listening to the Book and Pattern CDs, and working on any rote solos the teacher has assigned. The student’s assignments will be marked in his/her books. Additional information can be found in the practice packet in the welcome e-mail your teacher sends at the beginning of the term.

Book 2+: In Books 2 and 3, students are encouraged to practice 4-5 days per week for 15-30 minutes each day. Practice includes working on the current unit and review units, listening to the Book and Pattern CDs, and working on any rote solos or reading/writing exercises the teacher has assigned. The student’s assignments will be marked in his/her books.

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How do I prepare the practice space at home?

Your piano practice space at home should be a place that is welcoming and easily accessed. Make sure the space is both well lit and a comfortable temperature.

The practice space should have:

  1. A piano/keyboard with weighted keys, ideally the full-length of 88 keys.
  2. A piano with a music stand for the student’s book.
  3. A piano bench appropriate to your child’s height.
  4. A pencil, music folder, and book at the piano.
  5. A CD player, laptop/phone/tablet to access the Book and/or Pattern CD tracks for practicing. Students should be able to independently find and listen to assigned tracks. Parents may need to help younger students in the initial few months of classes.
  6. A clock for reference.
  7. A bag to protect all materials and that is ready to take to class each week. Stop by the Brookline Music School office to purchase one!

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When are classes held?

Brookline Music School has group piano classes every day. On weekdays, classes are typically held between 2:00pm and 7:00pm, though occasionally classes are offered earlier for Pre-K students or later for older students. On weekends, classes are typically held between 9:30pm and 5:00pm. Each term, new classes become available based on both re-enrollment of current students and teachers’ schedules.

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What is the class calendar?

Classes run for 32 weeks from September through late-May or early June. Please refer to the calendar to check when specific classes are held. All students in the Music Moves for Piano program follow this calendar which coincides with the Public Schools of Brookline calendar.

Beyond the school year, summer group piano classes for new students are offered. Enrolled students will receive an e-mail in the spring about summer scheduling for continuing classes.

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How does registration work for continuing students?

Students enroll for the full 30-week program each year, but payment is broken into two terms: Term I (fall/winter) and Term II (spring). In late fall, families continuing will receive an invoice by mail for Term II which provides the payment deadline to guarantee a spot in class. In the spring of each year, families will receive re-registration information for the following fall. If registration and payment are not complete by the deadline on the invoice, BMS will not be able to guarantee the student’s spot in the class.

Generally, students remain in the same day/time that they are scheduled for the entire year (Term I and Term II). If a conflict prevents a student from being able to continue in the same class day/time, please email Cathy Marks (cmarks@bmsmusic.org) know, and she will make a note of your scheduling request for the next term. Due to small class sizes, we are not able to switch class day/time once the term has begun.

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How does Term I (fall/winter) registration work for new students?

Term I, beginning in September, is the best time to join the program as a new student. Registration for Term I (September start) begins in June. The registration date can be found on the Music Moves for Piano page. Classes fill quickly. We suggest that prospective families join the mailing list to be notified of registration dates and demo classes. To be added to our mailing list for Music Moves for Piano, fill out the student inquiry form, contact Cathy Marks at cmarks@bmsmusic.org, or call the BMS office 617-277-4593. Once you are on the mailing list, notifications of specific registration dates, times, and other important information for joining the program will be sent to you.

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How does Term II (spring) registration work for new students?

Due to the full year nature of the Music Moves for Piano program, few spaces become available between Term I and Term II. These spaces are often filled by students on our priority waitlist, so enrolling in an early childhood class, discovering instruments class, or dance class will give you a greater chance of joining a piano class.

Registration for Term II (February start) begins in January. The registration date can be found on the Music Moves for Piano page. The few classes available fill quickly. We suggest prospective families join the mailing list to be notified of registration dates and demo classes. To be added to our mailing list for Music Moves for Piano, fill out the student inquiry form, contact Cathy Marks at cmarks@bmsmusic.org, or call the BMS office 617-277-4593. Once you are on the mailing list, notifications of specific registration dates, times, and other important information for joining the program will be sent to you.

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What is priority registration?

Priority registration is for students who are either currently enrolled in another class at Brookline Music School, or have a family member currently enrolled in a class or private lesson. Please email Cathy Marks (cmarks@bmsmusic.org or 617-277-4593) to be added to the priority waitlist for Music Moves for Piano. All families on the priority waitlist are invited to register for classes several days before the open registration date.

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Are there Music Moves for Piano classes in the summer?

Following Term II, Summer sessions in July are available for new students and can help both with your child’s readiness for group piano classes during the school year. Current students will be notified by e-mail in Term II about continuing summer opportunities for group piano.

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What are Brookline Music School’s policies (absences, tardiness, withdrawal/refund, discounts, parking, school closings)?

Please visit our policy webpage for detailed information about our school policies. If your question is not answered, please contact cmarks@bmsmusic.org.

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Are parents/caregivers allowed to stay for class?

Music Moves for Piano classes are drop-off classes and parents/caregivers are not allowed to stay in the room during the class. However, parents are generally invited into the classroom for the last 5 to 10 minutes of class for announcements, etc. each week.

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