Paxton Studios

Tom Paxton

970-309-1502
tjpaxton@comcast.net

 
  • Guitar, piano, ukulele, and bass lessons for children and adults
  • Learn to read music or play by ear or a combination of both
  • Build a repertoire of your favorite songs while learning chords, scales and music theory (the language of music)
  • $80 for an hour, $60 for 45 minutes, $40 for 30 minutes
  • Adults usually take hour lessons, middle school through high schoolers take 45 minutes.  Elementary kids usually take 30 minute lessons
  • I generally teach at peoples' homes and I charge $20 extra for home visits. If your home is farther than a 10 minute drive from the top of Cemetery Lane, I charge $1 for each addition minute of driving. If you prefer to take lessons outside your home, I also teach in a studio at the top of Cemetery Lane.  Lesson taken there and Zoom lessons do not include the extra travel fee. 
  •  Since the Covid lockdown I have done lots of Zoom lessons and have found that they work great for my adult students and pretty well for middle and high schooler kids.  For kids eight years old and younger it is necessary for the parent to attend the Zoom lesson and learn along with the child, so that the parent figures out what I am instructing and passes it on to the child.

 

Paxton Studio Policies
 
If a student has a regularly scheduled time slot during the academic year, it is assumed that the weekly lesson will happen whenever school is in session and won't happen when school is not in session.  You will receive an email lesson reminder 48 hours before a scheduled lesson. Cancellations can be made up to 24 hours before a lesson.  If a cancellation is made after the 24 hour window, full payment is expected regardless of the issue that led to the cancellation including illness, sudden accident, act of nature, etc. Last minute cancellations will be listed on your month-end email invoice as "missed." If circumstances arise that  require a last minute cancellation, a text message would be appreciated so that I don't unnecessarily show up at your house or sit around the studio wondering what happened. 

Practicing Guidelines for kids
 
Focused repetition is the key to progress in any acquired skill so the more reps the better.  Recommended practice time is at least 10 minutes four times a week for beginners. Small but frequent intervals of practice work better than last minute cramming before a lesson. Our brains revisit, reflect upon and solidify each day’s new information when we get a good night’s sleep, so each daily practice gives us the benefit of that night’s rehearsal session.
 
If students are too busy on a given week to practice, they should come to their lesson anyway.  We can always make progress at each lesson. I realize that kids are busy these days and that parents have a wide range of expectations for how much progress their children should be making.  As long as students are focused and willing to take direction during their lessons, I am happy work with them.  If I notice, however, that our time together is not resulting in any progress, I will contact the parent and we can talk it over.
 
All kids need some help with discipline.  Although no one wants practicing to become a bone of contention between parent and child, parents should expect to have to remind and encourage their children to practice from time to time. It helps to occasionally give younger kids your undivided attention when they are practicing so they can show off what they have been learning. Set up informal concerts with relatives and friends. Most young musical performers will enjoy the attention, and playing in front of others gives them a chance to experience, and hopefully eventually overcome, some of the debilitating symptoms of performance pressure.
 
 As kids approach adolescence and start the process of individuation, however, parents need to be aware that teenagers are going to be a bit touchy about what they see as unnecessary parental oversight. They will sometimes vacillate wildly between wanting to show off and wanting to practice in private.  Don’t be too surprised if your teenagers retreat into their rooms with their instruments.  When I was that age, the time alone in my room with music was pretty therapeutic!
 
As mentioned above, musical progress takes practice, and it sometimes feels like hard work. . It is my job to introduce new skills gradually so that frustration is minimized and fun maximized. After a student acquires some introductory skills, I like to let them choose what songs they would like to work on.  Kids will practice more when they are working on material that they enjoy playing. But in order to keep my students from flat-lining, I try to introduce new skills within their chosen songs that will develop their musicianship but may require repetition to master. Kids vary widely in their willingness to take on new challenges and I have to be sensitive to each person's threshold so as to avoid a level of frustration that might slow their progress by dampening their enthusiasm.
 
If you see that your child is beginning to resist practice because it is getting more challenging as they improve, don't hesitate to create little incentives. In other words, don't be afraid to bribe them.  It's amazing how much productivity you can get out of them with the slightest little reward.  Kids love to negotiate their incentive programs, so let the bargaining begin! Even adults need to bargain with themselves to get themselves to practice; I have often promised myself some reward if I stay focused on some exercise for another half hour! It's kind of absurd but it works!


Think of music study is an investment. We have all felt the ability of this wonderful, nonrepresentational art form to energize us and effect our emotions in a million ways.  In addition, science has shown us that music is also a powerful brain builder by demonstrating with MRI scans that musical performance lights up more areas of the brain simultaneously than any other human endeavor. 
 
It is an investment in money, time and energy; but if your child shows signs of loving music and a willingness to develop his or her talent, it's an investment that will pay big dividends in enhanced brain power, self confidence, work ethic and self expression well into the future.

 

  • As well as teaching , I am also a musical performer; primarily as a singer/guitarist but also as a acoustic and electric bassist.  For more info, please visit paxtonmusic.com.