Before you read this page, please compare our program with other music programs, and especially after school programs and internet offered lesson programs. You will find that our program is not only more structured, offers more opportunities, is more convenient, and has a greater emphasis on each student as an individual, you will also realize you are simply getting so much more, for a cost that is so much less.
Unfortunately, too often, we see students that come through our doors with their parents, instrument in hand, either from a private teacher or another school or after school program. Some of these students have had several years of lessons and their parents are frustrated that they feel their child has not progressed. As we evaluate these students, we find that 9 out of 10 times, there are issues with counting-rhythm, technique, sight reading skills, basic theory and basic music concepts. This occurs only too often.
As a director, as a pianist, performer, and with over 23 years of teaching experience, I can tell you, that nothing bothers me more. Unfortunately, teachers do not need a degree to teach music, there is no “policing” a music teacher, nor are their any criteria they have to meet, exams they have to take, or certificates they have to obtain in order to teach music. In addition, teachers are well aware that most parents don’t have much knowledge (if any) about music whatsoever, so where is the threshold set for how a teacher teaches and what is the incentive for them to be at their best?
Please take the time to learn about the program you are putting your child in before making your choice, whether it be a school, a private teacher or an after school program. Ask all the right questions and be comfortable with the answers you are getting. Whether you choose our program or not, please read our FAQ’s page under “Private Lessons” and help inform yourself with the right questions to ask your music teacher, and what you should expect. These lessons are costing you hard earned money, and you should be getting the best education for yourself and/or your child. This information is not meant to impune any specific school or music program, it is only meant to help students and parents make an informed decision of what to look for when choosing the right school and teacher for their child. Below you will clearly see what makes us different from other programs and why were voted 2009, 2010 and 2011 best in our division. Music Instruction, it is all we do.
Daily Written Student Lesson Reports
The Royal Academy is the only music school to offer daily written student reports after every lesson. These reports are a great tool for helping parents better understand and track their child’s progression. Daily written student reports outline key areas of the lessons such as: what your child and teacher worked on during their lesson, how well your child is progressing, suggestions the teacher has, and what’s for homework.
Optional Grading System and Testing
Royal Academy Grading System and Exams (Optional) RCM System
The Royal Academy offers optional exams and also follows the Royal Academy Grading system and preparation for these exams. Widely accepted as one of the best methods, testing measures and grading systems around the world, the Royal Academy for Music is one of the only New England schools offering the widely acclaimed UK system. Methodology’s, exams and testing are optional for students seeking a certificate or grading system related program. For more information please visit http://www.abrsm.org/en/home. This system is not mandatory, but is conveniently made available for students that request it.
Monthly Student Evaluations
In Addition to Daily Student Lesson Reports, the Royal Academy performs monthly detailed student lesson evaluations. These evaluations are very detailed and helps the teacher convey to the parent and student their progression. In addition, it highlights the teachers future plan of approach and where the teacher expects the student to be at a certain point. Musc like the student lesson reports, these evaluations are not designed to make the student feel they are being evaluated, but moreover to help the student progress and have a carefully, customized plan to becoming proficient on their instruments.
The Royal Academy requires that all its faculty members hold a minimum of a Bachelors Degree in Music (other than interns) from a major music school or conservatory with the majority of our instructors holding a Masters Degree and/or conservatory equivalent diploma. A Royal Academy teacher is also required to have a minimum of 8 years experience teaching and are required to be fully “cori-checked”. In addition to education and experience, Royal Academy instructors are also considered based on their approach, they must be fun to work with, have a very encouraging and outgoing personality,, love teaching and make lessons fun and exciting for their students.
Over 8 Student Recitals Per Year
While most music schools offer one student recital per year, the Royal Academy offers 8 student recitals each year. Recitals are available on our website with 3 additional recitals being added in throughout the year. The Royal Academy student recitals are held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), a longtime supporter and friend for over 16 years. All students perform in the very same, elegant concert hall as our world renowned musicians and performers do. Students also perform an a 9′ Steinway Concert Grand Piano and all Royal Academy recitals are free.
Monthly Tuition Vs. Long Term Commitments
Simply put, we don’t require our student’s to commit to long term semesters. Our tuition is structurd on a “month to month”. We also don’t require you pay a deposit or continued regsitration fee’s each semester.
We Use “Real” Piano’s & Acoustic Instruments to Instruct On, Not Keyboards or Other Electronic Instruments.
At the Royal Academy, we only use acoustic (real) piano’s in all of our lessons. We do not use electric or digital piano’s or keyboards in any of our students lessons. If you visit any of our locations, you will only find new “real” acoustic piano’s in each room with many of our studios housing two piano’s in each studio for better “hands on” training for our students. Why do most schools use keyboards and digital piano’s in their lessons? Simply because keyboards and electric pianos are very inexpensive to purchase and they require no maintenance such as tuning, regulation, etc. Another great disadvantage to using a keyboard or digital piano vs. a real piano in lessons are issue with intervals, technical issues, dynamic issues, and all around learning and performance issues. The Royal Academy also only uses full size drum sets for their percussion lessons, we do not use pads or digital kits. Even in our group piano classes, we use all acoustic piano’s.
Awards/Recognition & Testimonials
The Royal Academy has been awarded “Best of Worcester and Shrewsbury” for 8 years running 2009, 2010,2011, 2012,2013, 2014, 2015, & 2016 in the music instruction category. We are als members of the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association, National Guild of Community Schools for the Arts, Music National Teachers Association, and we are an A+ rated Better Business Bureau Member as well as, a member of our local area Chamber of Commerce. In addition we have been recognized by the President of the United States (George Bush) in conjunction with The American Red Cross and the Boston Conservatory of Music for our arrangement of a 7 hour marathon recital to benefit the victims of the September 2011 tragedy. We have also been featured in every major local news, radio and media publications and our most recent feature was in the “Flash” covering Westborough, Northborough and Southbourough called “The Royal Academy for Music, A Sound Investment”. We are also affiliated with countless major music schools, conservatories and many world renowned concert musicians. We have testimonials from pediatricians, physicians, parents, students and professionals and have been hailed as one of the top schools of music in Central New England.
Professional Artist Series Concerts
Each year the Royal Academy holds 6 Professional Artist Series Concerts at WPI College sponsoring and arranging world renowned professional
concert musicians to perform for our students, parents, teachers, the public, faculty and students of WPI and other area colleges and students. These concerts have been received with critical acclaim and have only added to the Royal Academy’s high standard of teaching and commitment to music. All these concerts are free to Royal Academy students and parents and it gives students a chance to experience the beautiful gift of music. Often times our performers are faculty of such prestigious schools as The Juilliard School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Curtis Institute, Universities of Boston, Manhattan, New England Conservtory,The Boston Conservatory, Harvard School of Music, Royal Academy of London, Brussells and much much more.
Encouraging A Clean-Sanitary Environment
The Royal Academy has multiple (child-safe) hand sanitizing dispensers installed in all of it’s school’s and individual studios, and our student’s are encouraged to practice safe measures for preventing the spread of the common cold and flu’s or viruses.