About Chris Sexton
Teaching Philosophy

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Q:  It’s my first lesson.  What should I bring with me?


A:  Unless otherwise directed, just make sure to bring your instrument with you.  If you have prior playing experience, regardless of how much experience, it is best to have something prepared to demonstrate your ability.  It is not an audition, so there is no need to fear making a mistake!  It will give me an indication of your ability and also a possible insight into other things, such as your musical interests.

Q:  I’m an adult and have never played an instrument before.  Can I take lessons with you?

A:  YES!  It’s never too late to learn an instrument.  Please be mindful, though, that as we age we pick up things less quickly – you will need to work hard to learn an instrument later in life.  While hard work is involved, it is a real possibility, and I will work with you.

Q: When should my child start taking lessons?


A: Children of five years and older are acceptable to begin lessons.  Parental inclusion in the lesson is highly recommended for children from five to seven years.  As there are exceptions (and exceptional children, of course!), children younger than five can be admitted for lessons if circumstances warrant.  A special consultation/interview with the parent will be given in such cases to determine whether lessons would be appropriate for the child.


Q: What if I live too far away from Manassas?


A: Skype lessons are available upon request. Students wanting to do Skype must live at least 30 miles or more from the studio, and must have reliable access to a Internet-capable computer with a working webcam, a preferably fast Internet connection, and of course a Skype account! A Skype student will also be required to pay for lessons through PayPal. There are pros and cons to taking lessons via Skype as opposed to the traditional in-person lesson experience, but the technology revolutions of the 21st century can help start new traditions, and hopefully new traditions can begin here at the studio with Internet-based lessons!


Q: How long and how frequent should my lessons be?


A: The standard lesson is 30 minutes. Lesson length may vary depending on student goals and needs. 60 minute lessons are recommended for accelerated learning or for advanced or adult students.  Folks are billed monthly, so typically lessons are weekly.


Q: What styles of music do you teach?


A: I have equal expertise in traditional classical and chamber music as well as bluegrass and Americana.  Additionally, if you want to learn some rock tunes, work in improvisational studies, basic theory, or even whip up a little jazz or blues, I can help! 


Q:  What forms of payment do you take?


A:  I take cash, check, and credit card payments through PayPal.  If you’re not familiar with PayPal and wish to pay by credit card, let me know and I can show you how it works.


Q:  Do you do group instruction?


A:  Yes!  Pending what the group is looking to get out of the experience, of course.  I am available for special programs, events, tutorials, and day care facilities on a one-time, occasional or regularly scheduled basis.  Contact me (link to contact page) for more information and let me know what you’re looking for.


Q:  Do I need to have an instrument?


A:  Each student needs to have an instrument available for regular practice.  I have a limited number of instruments for emergency short-term loan.  Many excellent music stores are in the area that can help you with your needs – I can help (link to contact page) guide you in your buying decision.


Q:  My child has a learning difficulty.  Should I tell you?

A: Yes. At registration time, any special needs should be communicated to ensure the best possible placement and teaching technique for your child.

Q:  Is your studio handicapped-accessible?

A:  Unfortunately, no.  The church section which houses the third-story studio was built in the 1920’s, and as such they did not then contemplate such things.  If you would like a list of studios which do provided handicapped-accessible facilities, I will be happy to provide them.  If a person with a physical handicap is able to drop their child off for lessons, there are plenty of establishments in Old Town Manassas that are handicapped-accessible that can accommodate while he/she has their lesson.

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