By enrolling your student, you are indicating a desire that your child be a PLAYER and not simply a LISTENER of music.  Great choice!  Piano brings a lifetime of enrichment.  Playing music is one of the great joys of being alive.

However, learning this skill is JOURNEY that takes years.  In this age of instant gratification, learning piano is rather counter-cultural.

My hope for every piano student is  to reach intermediate level skill.  This is where so much good sheet music of all styles are found.  It is the skill level that can bring a lifetime of satisfaction at the piano, where reading and technical execution are not so daunting. It’s a level where playing by ear is fun.  The student is equipped to play with others in a number of situations.

How long does it take to reach intermediate level?  Of course, this is highly dependent on the student, and consistency with home practice, but here are some generalities.  For a child beginning in the  primary grades 1-3, intermediate level is reached in the early  teen years.  It can be a process of about 6-9 years.

Starting in the primary grades 1-3, after three years of lessons, a young student typically will be a solid elementary player, able to play simpler music with both hands. The student will retain a knowledge of the rudiments of music, which can be a foundation later if the student starts another instrument, or sings in a choir.

Every instrument is easier to learn with a foundation in piano.  Of all the instruments, piano provides the best over-arching understanding of the elements of music.  In my opinion, all musicians need an understanding of the keyboard.

In my experience, very little is retained long-term with only one year of lessons.

So, learning piano is a long journey.  Like any journey, there will be ups and downs.  Expect that your child at times may want to quit.  It is my job, and yours, to motivate your student through these times.  Let’s work together on that.

Piano skills can bring lifelong satisfaction into the oldest of age.  What better investment is there?

MMTA Winners!

Our two MMTA Contest Preliminaries winners, Kaylyn and Lindsey! Both prepared and memorized a special piece to play before a judge, and both scored high, now being eligible for performing at Finals in March. Winners from that event play at the MMTA Honors concert in June. Way to work hard and make it happen, girls!

Sykes Piano Studio’s annual Spring Recital, celebrating the year’s accomplishments, this year at Rose Arbor Senior Community in Maple Grove on May 19, 2019.    Twenty-one performers graced the stage!

You, The Parent, are the Secret Weapon towards piano success!  These blogs can help you achieve your full potential.


As you probably know, consistent home practice is key to piano progress!


How can you ensure successful practicing at home?


Here are 5 Tips for you:


  • Set a regular practice schedule, 5-6 days a week.Beginning students start at 30 minutes/day.  This can be splitinto two shorter sessions.  Consistency is so important, especially at the beginning!
  • Make sure the piano or keyboard is in a quiet, well-lit location, though not too isolated, but away from distractions.
  • Especially if your student is under age 11, involve yourself in practice session. Sit on the bench and ask questions.  Have your student teach you something!  Show interest in what you hear.
  • Children under age 11 cannot be expected to complete their lesson assignments without your guidance. Make sure they cover everything. Help them reach their goals.
  • Practicing can feel solitary, requiring self-discipline. This is not easy for a child. If things get tough, consider incentives and rewards for meeting goals.


Thanks for enabling your child’s musical education!