FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
♪ Why Music Education?
We do want our students to enjoy learning new skills and playing with others while gaining confidence, acquiring self-discipline, and much more.
However, the most important reason for learning to play an instrument may be increased brain power! Some of the related research is summarized in the following 5-minute animated video. Please click on the link:
How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain
♪ How did the Academy get started, and what does the future hold?
In 2013, a homeschool parent presented us the idea of starting a new music academy at the Milwaukee Covenant Church building in Wauwatosa. My wife (Alicia) and I decided to operate the Music Academy of Greater Milwaukee as an offshoot of our existing business (SK Maestro Music Instruction). In the beginning, about 10 students were participating in classes at our Wauwatosa location.
Once we had started, homeschool parents contacted us and asked us to consider opening additional sites near their areas. We now have about 160 homeschoolers attending classes in 5 locations in southern Wisconsin.
The academy has grown quickly because so many homeschool families have gotten involved and used their connections to tell other families about our classes. We want to continue to focus on and nurture these 5 locations, helping them continue to grow in size and scope.
As sites continue to grow, we may be able to add some advanced-level Bands, Orchestras, Choirs, year-round private/small group instruction, and even special ensembles such as Jazz Bands, Drum Lines, Swing Choirs, and more. Some advanced groups could also become more performance-based (if parent and student interest is sufficient).
♪ How many students are enrolled?
About 200 homeschool students are currently enrolled in at least one class in our academy.
♪ How often should my child be practicing?
Each Band, Orchestra, Piano, Guitar, Violin, and Cello student is expected to turn in a Practice Plan Card at class each week. He/she should be sure to complete the form and to ask a parent for a signature before attending class. These cards help the instructor evaluate each student's progress and ensure each student continues to grow musically.
Practicing can be enjoyable, but only if it is done regularly (daily). In other words, the more a student practices, the more they will enjoy practicing. Practicing leads to achievement and confidence, and we all enjoy doing things we are good at!
Students in Concert Band and Concert Orchestra develop their own weekly plan. Students in other classes have a plan assigned to them by the instructor.
Students are to practice the material listed on their Practice Plan Card 3 times daily (all at one sitting).
Students in Children's Choir and Drums, Flutes, & Ukuleles classes should practice at least 5 to 10 minutes per day.
♪ What if my child is struggling with note reading?
We have free online music games linked on this website that can tremendously help your child become a secure note-reader. Please click on the following link for a list:
Online Music Games
Students may refer to the following note name chart while they are playing the games:
Music Note Name Chart
♪ When should my child move up to a more advanced class?
Once a student in a "Beginner's" class has begun to reach intermediate level on their instrument, they may advance to either Concert Orchestra or Concert Band class. Students often need to spend 2 to 4 semesters in a "Beginner's" class before moving up to an intermediate-level group. However, some students who are especially diligent regarding home practice (or have previous musical experience) may be ready after only one semester.
The instructor, parents, and student will jointly determine whether that student is ready for an intermediate-level challenge.
The following flow chart shows the progression of classes students may follow: