Questions are divided by category of concern: you can click on various tabs to see relevant questions!
What do you mean by a tone-focused curriculum?
PPL does not seek to train virtuosos, instead empowering everyone to enjoy playing music on their instruments. This means that the primary consideration when we're teaching is teaching students the fundamentals to make a good sound or tone. Ultimately, it's through a good sound that we're able to express ourselves and reach others.
Do mentors always teach according to the curriculum? Don't all students learn differently?
Of course! All students do learn things differently, and especially so with musical instruments. PPL's curriculum is only designed to be a set of guidelines for mentors, serving to create a general direction and provide good practice exercises while correcting universal bad habits. Mentors will adjust their teaching to the student every time.
How do you make sure your curriculum is credible?
Our team of curriculum writers are composed of high school Symphony students who are leaders in their sections and have years of experience on their instruments. Moreover, we collaborate with music teachers in the area to make sure we're teaching in the best way.
What kind of music do you teach your students?
Everything, ranging from pop to classical to soundtracks. PPL exists to help students develop a passion for playing their instruments and to cultivate expression. Insisting on playing only Suzuki method pieces or classical music would not help this goal. Some pieces currently in our curriculum guidelines include "Married Life" from Up, "La Vie en Rose," and "Secrets."
What makes Peer Private Lessons different from a traditional private lesson experience?
Peer Private Lessons offers lessons for free according to a developed curriculum structure. We do not intend PPL to replace or compete with traditional private lesson experiences--after all, we're high school students! However, PPL mentors enjoy a small age gap with their students and can often communicate better; as a result, lessons are more chill and can cater better to the student.
Are there any liability issues when a high school student and another student from outside of their school are in the same room?
To avoid liability concerns, we have been having lessons during times with adult supervision. However, we are in the midst of working with Robin Bailey, the Ann Arbor Public Schools music coordinator, to become more independent and develop a cohesive list of steps for a release form!
I'm interested in teaching. How can I become part of Peer Private Lessons?
We're always on the hunt for new mentors! Please fill out the contact form on this website and indicate that you are an interested mentor. One of our outreach directors will then contact you and figure out details.
How else can I support you? Do you take monetary donations?
While Peer Private Lessons is not yet a certified nonprofit organization, our website maintenance and outreach efforts all cost money. Plus, we'd like to be able to support our students by buying new strings, renting instruments, or even providing concert tickets. If you would like to support us financially, please use the contact form and indicate that you are an interested donor!