At Up Tempo Music Lessons in Sioux Falls, we don't offer your typical traditional piano lessons. When a student starts with Up Tempo, we show them how to find the notes on the piano and how to create chords with those notes to play songs they know and enjoy. Kids as young as six years old can learn piano with Up Tempo Tour program where they will start with basic chord shapes with popular songs. 

Students can receive a weekly half-hour lesson in the comfort of their own home. They will expand their knowledge of the keyboard by learning how to read notation, chord theory, applying scales to their playing, and much more. Every year, we hold our Up Tempo Student Concert where piano students can join a band with a guitar player, a singer, and a drummer. The concert is the highlight of the year, and piano students get a fantastic experience performing on stage.



What is the best age to start piano?

With Up Tempo, kids ages seven and up do well with our program. We make sure the material is accessible to each student by taking into account their age, personality, and learning style.

What kind of piano do I need for lessons?

Most pianos work for the Up Tempo program. Acoustic pianos, like upright pianos and grand pianos, need to be tuned regularly. We recommend Bob’s Piano Service for your piano maintenance. Electric pianos work for lessons as well. Students perform on an electric piano for our concerts, so it is useful to be accustomed to how they feel. Electric pianos should have 88 fully weighted keys. The Kawaii digital piano is an excellent example of one we recommend. If you have questions about a piano you own, we can answer any questions you have.

Should my child learn classical music?

Parents often wonder if there is more of an educational benefit to learning classical music. People often view rock and pop music as a fun option with little substance. However, these styles create a connection between the student and the material because they recognize and enjoy it.

The National Arts Standards were created to be used in school to be positive music programs were creating meaningful learning experiences for each student. Even though they designed the standards for school programs, Up Tempo uses a student-centered curriculum that follows the four benchmarks of these standards. Those four benchmark standards are: creating, performing, responding, and connecting.

Students are encouraged and trained in CREATING their music. Improvisation and composition skills will be used to perform and arrange songs learned in lessons.

Not only will students have the opportunity to perform on stage, but students will be PERFORMING music at each lesson, either individually and collaboratively. Actively making music is the key component to understanding music.

Because Up Tempo uses the music of interest to students, it creates an effective way for students to RESPOND to music. By reflecting on the meaning or intention songs, students are connecting to their social/emotional skills needed in every aspect of their lives.

Again, Up Tempo prioritizes a student's CONNECTION to music. The goal of Up Tempo is to create life-long musicians, and that can only happen with connection to the music. We do this by encouraging students having their voice in lessons.

How much should my child practice?

Practice is an essential part of a musician's growth. It teaches persistence and builds habits of continuous improvement. However, it is easy to slip into the mindset of practice being a chore. Carl Off, the music education theorist, said it best. "Since the beginning of time, children have not liked to study. They would much rather play, and if you have their interests at heart, you will let them learn while they play; they will find that what they have mastered is child's play."

Our instructors guide students on what they should practice, rather than how long. We give them focused practice techniques to accomplish the material. The most significant step in practice is starting a practice session. If the student knows what to work on, the time spent practicing becomes just a number, and students can often lose track of time when they focus on their goals.

Those habits can be challenging to build, so here are some general practice times for age and ability. The older and more experienced students should dedicate more time to practice. A beginner student under the age of 10 should aim for 10-15 minutes of practice 3-4 times a week. Intermediate students can expect to spend approximately 30 minutes of practice 4-5 times a week.

What do the lessons cost?

We offer weekly half-hour lessons at $155 per month. This includes all lesson materials.

How do the in-home lessons work?

Up Tempo Music Lessons offers in-home lessons in the Sioux Falls and surrounding area. We start with an enrollment lesson in your home to give your child the opportunity to experience lessons first hand. The enrollment lesson also lets us see how they connect with the teaching style and helps us pair them with the right instructor. From there, you will learn about our policies, and we will set up the schedule. Lessons occur weekly on the same day and time each week, and we can be flexible on weeks you need to reschedule. Your instructor will arrive at the scheduled time, give your child their lesson, and be on their way!