Before you start piano lessons, 


I am happy to help students shop for a piano - free of charge.

Three of the biggest reasons children don't practice 

  • when they practice they are either lonely, or
  • somehow you have sent the signal that piano is not normal. 
  • Or, thirdly, the piano is out of tune.

If you have space in your home for an acoustic grand piano - purchase one.

Buy the best piano you can afford. A rule of thumb for the financial investment required for a quality starter instrument is $3,000-$7,000.

If you're going to shop on craigslist or online - find a qualified tuner/technician to join you on your inspection.

Buying a piano is (quote me on this!) worse than a car - they are very technical, and hard to inspect. And everyone thinks it's worth more than it is. Be critical and smart when you begin your piano shopping experience. I've play literally hundreds of pianos - and am happy to help a prospective student find the RIGHT instrument for YOU. I will never charge a fee to go piano shopping with a student.  

​I'll reiterate this: If you're looking at a used piano on the open market - please bring a qualified technician with you when you explore. Pianos are very technical, involving a lot of parts. 

I think every parent should view owning a piano as a smart investment in your child's education,

in creating a lovely environment in your home for sharing and spontaneous concert giving,

and as a worthwhile endeavor for long-term enjoyment.

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Diane Hidy suggests that you

"go with your gut" when you meet a teacher - trust your instincts.

Listen to quality music!

Consider ordering this outstanding CD for your daily enjoyment in the car, or while enjoying dinner.




For very young beginners:

If the parent or guardian doesn't "play", then take 6 or more months to  explore your piano with your child, prior to enrolling for private lessons.

 Encourage your child to play around and with  

 the piano prior to lessons. You can't break a  

 piano by playing it. 

 If you don't know where to begin with regard 

 to exploration - try this:

   Use the BLACK KEYS, and see if you    

   can invent songs. Then add some white

   keys. Explore and listen. Keep it light. 

Make note of how your child explores the


The right teacher is going to want to know this



Do they like thehigh sounds, or the

                                                  low sounds

Is the middle of the piano where they prefer  to play?

Does everything sound percussive (this is fine - the piano is part percussion - part string), 

     Share these

     observations at the

     time you

     interview with

     prospective teachers ... 

 Information on this website has been adapted from

 several other resources - please feel free to explore the

 web on your own for more suggestions & excellent

 additional resources (explore this site for many excellent 

 online sites & sources!)

Shad Wenzlaff Piano Studio

A professional piano studio

located on the East / near-north side of Madison, WI

The Music Studios at 615 N. Sherman Av

Madison, WI 53704

The studios are open by appointment only -

please email or call for your interview lesson.

Thank you for perusing my site.