Many students choose to begin piano and an instrument at the same time, thus learning both instruments concurrently. (This is a requirement for all voice students under age 12, and is strongly recommended for all other voice students as well.) The result is that the student receives the maximum benefit of learning music theory and other musical issues on the piano, while at the same time being allowed to start her/his actual instrument of choice.
Scheduling: At KMI, our talented faculty and muliple studio facility allow for easy scheduling of students who wish to study both piano and another instrument. If the faculty is capable of teaching both instruments, then the student can learn both in the same lesson. If the lessons must be scheduled with two different teachers, we can usually coordinate the student on the schedules of the two teachers to be back-to-back on the same day (e.g. Sunday 2:00pm piano with one teacher then 2:30 trumpet with another teacher).
Combined Lesson: If the student is able to schedule a combined lesson with one teacher, the student has the choice of enrolling for only 15 min. for the secondary instrument (e.g. 30 min. piano + 15 min. violin) or 30 min. for the secondary (e.g. 30 min. piano + 30 min. violin). Further, the teacher has the maximum flexibility to allocate the lesson time as needed (sometimes more for one instrument than the other). Since music theory is required for every instrument, in essence the student will have 15 min. theory + 15 min. piano + 15 min. instrument (violin, etc.) within a single 45 min. lesson.
Separate Lessons: If the two instruments require two different teachers, because no current KMI faculty is capable of teaching both, then the student is required to enroll for a minimum of 30 min. on each instrument. This is simply due to issues of scheduling that result from managing the schedules for two different teachers, and the time factor required to "get started" and "finish up". We will make every effort possible to schedule the two lessons back-to-back, in order to make the time the most efficient for the family. If back-to-back is not possible, then we will try to schedule them with a minimum of gap on the same day (no more than 30 min.) If neither of the above are possible, we will be forced to schedule on different days. Traditionally, when scheduling piano with another instrument, all difficulties in scheduling are due to restrictions placed on us by the student (family) and not our faculty. When scheduling two non-piano instruments, greater difficulty can result by virtue of the fact our faculty teach on different days of the week.
(Why piano first?)