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Frequently Asked Questions & Instrument Recomendations

Why Rich Music School?
You have plenty of options for music teachers, and most importantly we hope that you choose a local musician or school.  When you shop at a large corporation or franchise they are sending AT LEAST 10% of your money to corporate executives instead of supporting local musicians and the local economy. We take pride in paying our teachers livable wages unlike many other corporate music schools in the area.

In addition to the economic implications of #shoplocal, most music schools and even independent music teachers will teach exclusively from one or two books, and teach only one genre based on their own experience, but at Rich Music School we have musically diverse teachers and curriculum that is customized for each student.  We strive to be student-centered, song-oriented, and performance-motivated, which we've found to be much more engaging and motivating for students today. We also offer opportunities to perform and make music videos that you won't find at any other "normal" music school.

How do you charge for lessons? 
When you register online you will enter a credit card that will be stored with our credit card processing company Square, and we will automatically charge that card for all lessons scheduled in the current month when you register, and again on the 1st of each month if you decide to enroll in weekly lessons.

What is your reschedule make-up policy?
We need at least 4 hours notice to cancel or reschedule a lesson.  No make-up lesson or refund will be given if we do not receive proper notice.

Do I have to commit to a certain amount of lessons or sign a contract?
No, we don't have long term contracts, and you can cancel at any time, but you will be auto-enrolled weekly at the same day and time each week to assure no one else takes your slot.  You can cancel at any time.    

How old does my child need to be to start learning?
We start group classes and private lessons at 5 years old, but we can start private lessons younger if a parent or caretaker is willing to stay for the duration of the lesson to help.  This is also necessary so the adult can help them practice at home.  Kids under 5 may not progress as "quickly" as older kids, but the early exposure to music and instruments definitely makes them quicker learners when they're older. 
What Instruments do you teach? 
We teach all common instruments - piano, guitar, bass guitar, voice, drums, mandolin, violin, viola, cello, double bass, as well as common band instruments - trumpet, trombone, tuba, clarinet, flute, and sax. We also teach DJ, beat-making, music production, and song writing and recording.  Please contact us if your instrument is not listed here.  
Do you teach students with special needs?
Yes!  Owner and director Brandon Rich has a music education degree and studied inclusive teaching methods for students with disabilities, and has extensive experience teaching students with wide varieties of disabilities.  Your teacher will work with you to communicate specific goals and strategies to assure a great experience.

Do you teach adults?​
YES! The majority of our students are kids, but our instructors love working with adults also! 

Do you teach classical certification programs like RCM? 
No. The vast majority of students we’ve seen go through any classical music centered certification program completely lose interest in playing their instrument through the process, often times to the point of hating playing music all together.  We suspect that is because the focus in these certification programs is solely on preparing and performing classical music, and being tested on 'classroom knowledge’ of music theory, which is not exciting, engaging, or applicable for most modern musicians, and especially not for kids. 

Instead, we focus on real-life applicable music skills and music theory, which prepare students to perform, arrange, improvise, and compose 20th and 21st century American music - everything from jazz, R&B/Soul, country/folk, blues, rock, funk, disco, EDM, and pop.  Most of our teachers are professional musicians who have spent their lives making a living as performing musicians, unlike many traditional teachers who solely teach classical music and rarely perform themselves. 

While there is great value in learning and listening to classical music, we feel strongly that focusing on more modern music and music skill-sets will create a longer-lasting, healthier relationship with playing music.  

Shopping for an Instrument

For absolute beginners we recommend an electric keyboard.  Acoustic pianos can be difficult and expensive to move and maintain, and you can buy a decent electric keyboard for just under $200.  

The Casio CTS 300 is about $180, and is about the same as the Yamaha, but has WAY more sounds and features.  You can design songs, beats, record and playback music.  

If you're not interested in those features, the YAMAHA NP-12 sells for about $200.  It is indestructible, has great built in speakers and sounds, and not too many extra features or sounds to get distracted with.

Check out Harry's Guitars in Raleigh and Music Go Round in Cary

Check out 2112 Percussion in Raleigh

A basic speaker or guitar amp with a microphone is great to help students practice microphone technique and to help them hear themselves more clearly when practicing.  I recommend buying a "Dynamic Microphone" from which range from $15-100.  


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