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Frequently Asked Questions About Music Lessons (FAQ)



What if I am a total beginner?Back To Top    Enroll Me Now!

Well, we didn't want to tell you this, but actually, way back in the day, we all were just total beginners. That's right. There was a time when everyone at Goodn'Loud was a beginner. Didn't know a thing. Nada. Zip. But we all took lessons and learned. So we know where you are coming from, and what's possible in the future. So trust us, we'll take care of you.

How often are lessons given?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

In our experience weekly, half hour lessons are most the effective way to go. Less frequently, then motivation and focus are hard to maintain. Another consideration during the learning process is that if something was misunderstood or missed during a lesson, it would be unfortunate for you to practice that misunderstanding to perfection, only to have to unlearn later.

Why do I need lessons at all?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

You don’t. But you may want them. Here's why. The quickest way to master anything is to have a strong foundation in the fundamentals from the beginning. Proper physical technique and a clear understanding of how everything fits together. There is no need to make the same mistakes and false starts that everyone else who is self taught has made. Find someone who knows what they’re doing and copy them. Actually, that is what "lessons" are all about in the first place.

How old is “too old?”Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

That's right, you just guessed it. You're never too old. The benefits of playing music do not start or end at some particular age, they start when you begin to play and continue on for the rest of your life. The advantage of starting at a "later age" is that you will be able to leverage the fact you've already learned how to learn.

How young is “too young?”Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

This question is a little tougher. It actually depends on the student, and the process of physical development. You, the parent, will have an intuition about how to proceed. Why not just give it a shot? The student is enthusiastic and has a vision for what he or she wishes to accomplish. So at the very least there will be an opportunity to explore whatever music is for them. Some students discover that learning to play an instrument is not for them "right now," and they will come back later. This is a positive experience. Not Failure. Discovering you do not want to do something is every bit as valuable as discovering that you do. We want students to have a positive experience, leaving something still open for a return in the future, not something they wish they had never tried in the first place.

Are you sure about that?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

Yes. All of the scientific research in the last ten years concludes that music lessons, at whatever age (usually starting at around 5 or 6), teach patience, determination, increased social skills, improve students academically, help students learn more and faster, improve quality of life…and the list goes on. The problem with music in the modern world is that it’s almost never “instant gratification”. We are now used to instant everything. But the fact is, music just doesn't’ work that way. In order to be successful, you need to practice. Some students expect to sound like Billy Joe or Eric Clapton from the first moment they pick up their instrument. We’re sorry to say that that almost never happens. It will take some work and dedication, but it will pay off in the end. Trust us, we’ve been doing this for 30 years and wouldn't give it up for the world!

What is a “missed lesson?”Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

We know from experience that our students are very busy people. They go to school, they go to work, they play on sports teams, they spend time with friends. There are vacations, unexpected sporting events, illness, etc. And from time to time these activities will conflict with lesson schedules. When that occurs, and the students is not able to attend a regularly scheduled lesson, that becomes a “missed lesson.” It's as simple as that. Only you can determine what you need to do, and what serves you best. We will keep track of the most recently missed lessons, and you can make them up later. But please call or email us when you know a lesson must be missed.

How do I do a “makeup lesson?”Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

That's simple. Contact your instructor and make arrangements for a time and place that is convenient for both of you. Not surprisingly those available times will be lessons that other students were not able to attend, and the instructor has had advance notice. Our instructors will also come in from time to time on "non-official" teaching days. Flexibility on the part of our instructors and students is how our system works. We have been doing it this way for more than 15 years.

Can I give lessons to someone as a gift?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

Yes. When you call or come in, we will work with you on how best to proceed. Music lessons are actually very personal to the learning style of the student and we want to get it right the first time. You don't have to know a thing about music to give the "gift of music." Leave that to us. Just enjoy the result.

Are you near public transportation?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

Yes. Both locations are on major Madison Metro bus routes. Check with Madison Metro for the most convenient bus routes and stops for you.

How soon can I start?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

How about today. Use the enrollment button, call or come in. We will work with you to select an instructor who matches your goals and personal learning style. We offer open enrollment year-round. Your personal schedule is guaranteed for the same day and time each week. You and your instructor can change this arrangement from time to time, when the need arises.

How many lessons should I sign up for?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

Our plans of twelve lessons are the most popular, and have proved to be the most successful. In that time you get enough experience to begin developing your "muscle memory" which will last a life time. (You'll never forget how to ride your bicycle). You will have learned many of your favorite songs, and will be able to decide where you want to go next in the universe of music.

On what instruments do you offer instruction?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

Currently we offer lessons focused on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano, voice, banjo, and mandolin.

What the heck is a "ShortCourse", or "how'd you do that?"Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

A ShortCourse is our answer to the question "how'd you do that?" They are two and half hours long, with three to six participants, on a single, focused subject. How often have you tried to achieve some goal and experienced being stopped by not knowing one (or two) very simple things. (For me, plumbing comes to mind.) You don't want an advanced degree. You just want to know "how'd you do that?" Join three or four others who want the same answer(s) for a ShortCurse and get the solutions you need.

May I request an instructor?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

Absolutely. If you already know one of our instructors, then that choice is exactly the right one for you.

How do I keep track of my lesson plan?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

Hey, you don't. We do. All of that "bookkeeping" is handled for you. And every week your personal lesson plan is emailed to you that evening. We have found that to be the simplest and most informative system on the planet. Our system is designed so that you and your instructor can focus the maximum amount of your time and energy on learning to play: not record keeping.

Do I have to bring my instrument to the lessons?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

No, not necessarily, but you can if you want. If it is inconvenient to bring your instrument (coming from school), then we are happy to provide one for your use. We've noticed over the years that drummers are especially happy with this service.

How much should I practice?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

As much and as often as you possibly can! You will get out what you put in. If you think that practicing a half hour before your lesson gets the job done, then you may not get much out of that next lesson. But, if you put in the effort, you will get the result. Remember: It’s not what hours you put in, it's what you put into the hours! Strong fundamentals, with repetition produces muscle memory, expertise and mastery. (Think Tiger Woods)

Do I have to learn all that "technical" stuff?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

No, not necessarily, but you can if you want. In the same way it's ok to go out and play a few rounds of golf for fun, it's ok to spend a few hours playing songs for yourself or your friends. It just depends on what you want as an outcome from your music lessons. We're thrilled either way. On the other hand, if you're thinking about taking on Tiger Woods or Eric Clapton, you'd better consider getting your chops together. We can help with that too.

What if I don't like my instructor,or just want to change?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

No problem. Personal chemistry with your instructor is one of the key elements in your being successful. Our first goal. In fact, we encourage students to consider a new instructor from time to time. It broadens you musical experience. This will happen naturally in the course of your instruction when your instructor will not be available for your regular lesson. Please remember, all of our instructors are actively working musicians, and flexibility is one of the hallmarks of our instruction programs, both for our student and for our instructors. When this occurs your instructor will have found someone else on staff, someone who in their best judgment will be able to serve you the best. You can always discuss changes with any of our senior staff managers. It's not a big deal.

What about school holidays, vacations, and such?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

We do not follow any of the public school calendars in determining our holiday schedule, but rather a more general business calendar. We have found over the years that some of the best opportunities for musical growth occure when the student has a break from educational tasks at school. During these breaks we offer a wide variety of musical experiences from individual ShortCourses to recording and performances.

What about bad weather, this is Wisconsin after all?Back To Top     Enroll Me Now!

"Bad weather" days are handled on a case by case basis. Because our instruction times start much later in the day than the public schools, and our safety issues are so much different, we've frequently been available for our regular music lesson schedule - even on days when the public schools have been closed. (Moms report it's good to get them out of the house.) If in your best judgment travel is unsafe, then travel is unsafe. Period. See 'ya next week.

If we close the store, then the day is marked officially as a "bad weather," otherwise we handle the lessons as "missed." And remember to call for a makeup.

Pricing and Procedures:Back To Top    Enroll Me Now!

  • Lessons plans are paid for on a monthly basis. Currently the fee varies between $72.00 and $90, depending on the number of weeks in the month.
  • Payment is due before the end of the current month. Payment for more than one month can be made.
  • Missed lessons are made up outside of the student's general lesson plan, whenever the instructor has available time. We keep a rolling list of the last three lessons missed, and when a makeup is given. If you do not make up one of the three missed lessons before a fourth lesson is missed and added to the bottom of the list, then the oldest missed lesson is considered lost and is no longer available for makeup.
  • Makeup lessons are available to all students in good standing, and enrolled full time. (i.e. taking lessons and fully paid up). When a student discontinues full time enrollment all remaining, future lessions will be refunded. All missed lessons will be considered lost, and no refund or makeup will be offered.
  • You will not be charged for official store "holidays," official bad weather days, nor instructor absences that cannot be made up.
  • These procedures can and will change from time to time. Any changes will take effect in the following month.
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How to find our store:

Map to Goodn'Loud West