Frequently Asked Questions

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Do all my students need a workbook?

Yes!  The workbook is an important part of helping the student learn from the recorded lessons.  It also enables the student to keep track of their progress.  As students come to their lesson (or class), they open their workbook, see which recording they are to work with, look it up online and listen.  It is entirely self-directed.  Very easy to use.  Scroll to the bottom of the page to order workbooks.

Should my advanced students start with volume one?

Yes!  Advanced students should start with volume one.  I have never seen a student start with volume two and make it past volume two.  It gets too hard.  Level one gives them the foundation they need to succeed.  Part of that foundation is the emphasis on character traits needed to touch excellence in music and life.  And yet, much of what is in level one will be review.  It can sometimes be tricky to get an advanced student to start at the beginning.  So, here is what I have tried:

a. Acknowledge their knowledge. Say something like, “We are going to start a new program that will help you learn music like never before. Much of book one is review; but there are some things that are new (particularly the approach to sight singing, melodic and rhythmic dictation, and ear training exercises.)  Your chances for success are greater if you practice them before going on.” 

b. Challenge them and invite them to take responsibility for their own progress toward excellence. You can do this by saying something like, “I invite you to move through this volume as fast as you can and find whatever is new and make sure you master it. When you have done that, you will be ready to move on and do the same with each volume until we reach your current level.”

c. Verify the accuracy of their work by having them sing the sight singing examples to you. These only take about 45-60 seconds of your lesson time, but there are tremendous advantages that result. If you want to succeed with these volumes, having them sing the examples to you is a big motivator.

d. Lesson A and B in volume one will teach the short cuts for the advanced music student. The short cuts teach them how to get through volume one rapidly by going straight to those parts in which most advanced students are weak.

How long does it take to work through a volume?

Man pointing to watchEach volume has 24-26 lessons.  Each lesson lasts about 25 minutes.  If a student does one lesson a week, it will take about 6 months to work through a volume.  At two lessons a week, they would finish in 3 months.

How old does a student need to be?

A student should be able to read well and follow instructions.  Although it has been used successfully with first and second graders, a good time to start is fourth or fifth grade.  The main reason is research suggests that a child’s brain really doesn’t develop enough to understand the theory concepts introduced in volume two, until they are about age 8 or 9.  They can parrot it back to you, but they don’t really understand.

These lessons have an appeal to all ages from age 8-99 and hold a person’s interest.

I’d like to use Excellence in Music, but don’t have the time to learn to use it.

Take 2 minutes to read: Quick Start, then hand your student a workbook and show them how to access the recordings online.  Leave the rest to them.  This course is self-directed.  However, it is important that you spend about 1-3 minutes each week looking at their work.  That way, they feel you are interested in what they are doing.  It validates their efforts and lets them know that you think what they are doing is important.

What if I don’t have an extra room in my studio or classroom which my students can listen to the recordings and write in the workbook?

A lot of private teachers who use this method increase a student’s lesson time to an hour. They also charge a little more for the longer lesson.  They have two students come at the same time.  One student works on Excellence in Music, while the other works with the private teacher on their instrument.  At the half hour, the students switch.  But, if space is limited in your studio, no problem.  Because the lessons are online, they can listen at home, at school…anywhere.

Can I use this with any method?

Yes.  You do not have to give up a thing.  It works with Suzuki, Bastien, Alfred, Faber & Faber, in band classes, choir classes, general music classes, guitar classes…anything.  Many teachers with computers find that this course goes way beyond what their computers teach.  They use Excellence in Music to teach the concepts, and then have their students use the computer to drill the skills that were learned.

You do not need a computer, though.  Students can access the lessons on a chrome book, tablet, laptop, or smart phone.  Any device with internet.  You can also download the lessons and put them on CD’s or computer.  If your internet is slow, you/they can download the lesson before listening.  There is nothing else on the market that does all that this course does, and at such a low price.  Combined with a private teacher on their instrument, a near college level music education (in music theory, ear training, and music history) for less than $125 (the cost of the 7 workbooks).  That is a deal!

If you  have other questions, send us an email.  We are happy to give assistance.  We are available and want to help you succeed.