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In Music

"Playing an instrument builds neuron connections in the brain that have been linked to higher academic achievement," says Jennette Cable.

Piano lessons provide more than music instruction




Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on May 6, 2009 at 8:32 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.


For generations, piano lessons have served as an integral part of kids' developmental process. Exposure to musical instruments at a young age teaches self discipline, encourages creativity and self-expression, builds self-esteem and, nowadays, reminds young people that there's more to recreation than video or computer games.

"The process of playing an instrument builds neuron connections in the brain that have been linked to higher academic achievement," says Jennette Cable, the owner of J.S. Cable Music Studio, 634 E. Burleigh St.

Cable started teaching piano from her Riverwest home in 1996. Later, along with her husband, she purchased the building that currently houses her studio, and coincidentally, the space is rumored by neighbors to have once housed Liberace's back-up piano player.

"I wanted to provide a place in the community where I and other musicians could teach alongside one another and build relationships in the community through music," says Cable, who is a member of Milwaukee Area Piano Teachers (MAPTA) and Milwaukee Music Teachers Associaton (MMTA).

J.S. Cable Music Studio offers private piano lessons, as well as instruction in guitar, drums, bass, violin, cello, viola, voice, saxophone, clarinet, banjo, flute, mandolin, theory, recorder, harmonica, ear training, composition and improvisation. Kindermusik classes -- group music programs offered to children ages newborn to 7 -- are also available.

Christina Fordham is the piano lesson coordinator at the White House of Music, 2102 N. Springdale Rd. Fordham has played piano for 18 years, and says she usually starts teaching piano to kids around age 7.

"I will teach piano to kids as young a 4, it just depends on the kid," says Fordham.

According to Cable, knowing when to start piano lessons depends on the child, but most children experience greater degrees of success if they can count, write their numbers from one to 10 and engage in a focused activity for at least 20 minutes.

"The key to the age appropriateness lies in whether or not the child expresses interest without any parental prompting," says Cable.

Piano lessons range in price, but $20-25 for a private, half-hour lesson is average.

J.S. Cable Music Studio enrolls about 50 piano students every year. Classes run during the school year, from September until June, and the tuition is $750 for a weekly, half-hour lesson. Payment plans are available. There are two summer piano programs that run for one month each and cost $100 for four private, half-hour lessons.

White House of Music's piano lessons cost $75 per month for a weekly half-hour piano lesson. There is a one-time $20 registration fee. Also, Fordham offers a class for younger kids called "Come And Play" (CAP) that introduces young children to the piano.

All of the J.S. Cable instructors and White House instructors are professional musicians.

"The teachers affiliated with J.S. Cable Music Studio take music education seriously. We believe in 'building relationships one lesson at a time' and put all our focus on the unique needs of our students," says Cable.

To start lessons, families do not have to own a piano -- an electric keyboard will suffice -- but eventually an acoustic piano is a required investment for serious students.

"We make learning to play the piano really fun," says Fordham.

Here are a list of music studios that offer kids' piano lessons. Add other suggestions via the Talkback feature.

A Joyful Noise
12440 Wilbur Dr., New Berlin, (262) 784-3018
web.me.com/jmpiano

Abbey Music Lessons
2213 S. 98th St., (414) 541-8401
abbeymusiclessons.com

Expressions Piano Studio
13930 W. Grange Ave., New Berlin, (262) 427-9980

J.S. Cable Music Studio
634 E. Burleigh St., (414) 374-0657
jscablemusic.privatemusiclessons.net

Kames Music Service
7363 Brunn Dr., Franklin, (414) 321-8633
hammondservice.com

Netzow's Piano Music Plus
8837 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, (414) 454-0470‎

White House of Music
2101 N. Springdale Rd., Waukesha, (262) 798-9700
(check Web site for locations in Germantown, Oconomowoc, Watertown, Wauwatosa and West Bend)
whitehouseofmusic.com

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
1584 N. Prospect Ave., (414) 276-5760
wcmusic.org

Talkbacks

scotto. | Oct. 24, 2010 at 10:08 p.m. (report)

This is a great article. You list a few of the larger places to get lessons, but here is one that is fantastic. Ron Kaspar of Kasparskeyboard.com is a great teacher. My Dad, who is in his seventies decided to learn piano and contacted Ron. He took lessons for over three years from Ron, and now he plays some pretty complicated music. So several months back my 13 year old son got interested in piano. Ron was the first one we called. He's a fun teacher. My son is practicing every night and has advanced quite a bit in a few short months. Definitely call Ron at 414-421-4818. We go to his house for lessons, but he told me he travels to people's homes and gives them lessons. You can't beat that! I heartily recommend Ron!!

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interstatemusic | May 6, 2009 at 10:04 a.m. (report)

Cascio Interstate Music offers lessons for both Kids and Adults - in a variety of instruments!

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High_Life_Man | May 6, 2009 at 9:36 a.m. (report)

Good article. How about one for adults who want to get back into their musical lessons?

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