Frequently Asked Questions

What are your rates?

Our starting rate is $75/hour. We offer 30-minute, 45-minute, and 60-minute lessons, all priced to this dollar per minute rate.

Additionally, we charge a $5.00 per lesson travel fee for all house calls.

We also charge a $1.00/month online subscription fee for student use of our online student library, made available to families who sign up via Google Drive link sharing.

How do I pay?

We process online payments via Clients are invited to opt into autopay services. We also can process credit cards this way. DocRocker also accepts Apple Pay and checks mailed to P.O. Box.

What if I need to cancel?

Our cancellation policy is simple – we kindly ask for a 24-hour notice of cancellation. Teachers confirm lessons every week within this timeframe, so busy parents won’t forget to cancel, should they need to!

Beyond 24-hours, cancellation fees will apply. 

Where are you located?

DocRocker Music Academy got its start in Chester County, PA. We currently serve students in Chester and Montgomery counties, PA. This includes but is not limited to Downingtown, West chester, Exton, Malvern, Paoli, Valley Forge, Phoenixville, Ardmore, Bala Cynwd, Conshohocken, Willow Grove, Plymouth Meeting, Fort Washington, Haverford and more!

What instrument is best to start?

Danton recommends that piano is the best instrument for any absolute beginner to start, and not just because piano is his specialty!

Many music educators would agree that learning piano first gives students access to much greater levels of music literacy, which leads to more easily learning almost any other instrument. Piano students learn to  read both treble AND bass clefs, which are also used for virtually every other instrument, with one exception, the viola – sorry violists! But, if your child expresses interest in joining their school band or orchestra in later elementary years, piano will open doors for all the woodwind and brasswind instruments, violin, and cello. Plus, piano is the easiest to play at the start – simply touch the keys, and you will get nice sounding notes on day one. No need to tune, adjust reeds or strings, assemble parts, the list of barriers to entry go on for several other instruments.

How much should my child practice each week?

This question is the most frequently asked by many families, which is a shame, considering that it is improperly worded. The true question is how should my child practice, not how much. Every student is unique and learns music in his or her own way. Setting a timer for practice devalues everything the student needs to learn. Students who measure how much time they spend fail to measure the progress they are really making. Students should spend time on a task until it is secure and comfortable, whether that is thirty minutes or five minutes, or as students master their instrument, even several hours of practice can be necessary.

What are typical rates for band instruments? Where can I get them? What brands do you recommend?

Please inquire with us further on this after our initial contact. The music world is enormous, with lots of options for every instrument. Depending on where you live, what school district your child attends, your budget, inventory of music stores in your area, and a number of other factors, the answers to these frequently asked questions vary greatly. For school band instruments, some schools and music stores offer rental programs as well, either firsthand or through a third party company. We can provide further details on this service for clients located closest to us.

Guitar: Acoustic vs. Electric – which one should I buy for my child?

Typically, guitar teachers recommend acoustic guitar over electric, because of its relative simplicity. No fussing about with cables, wires, or amplifiers with tons of knobs and controls. DocRocker teachers recommend the opposite – the bells and whistles of an affordable starter electric guitar set can engage a beginner much more than an acoustic, and electrics are much easier to get smaller hands around and play. Plus, the cool factor is undeniable! And, a bonus for parents of new students – HEADPHONES!

How did you get started teaching music?

Danton has been teaching music since he was a teenager, working through a local music store, giving piano and guitar lessons. This grew to making private house calls and setting up his own personal studio at home before starting his college career path. Today, he is running his own business, traveling to students and giving music lessons every day, and managing a small team of elite teachers in the Greater Philadelphia area.

What is your typical process for working with a new student?

We offer a trial lesson, free of charge to all of our prospective clients. We keep a log of every students’ basic information, from past experience to future goals, to be updated weekly during lessons. If you decide what we offer is not the best fit, you are not obligated to any commitment. After a successful trial lesson, we proceed to our “Intro Pack,” which offers the remaining month’s worth of lessons at a discounted rate, to ensure we are the absolute best fit for the student. After completing the Intro Pack, students may fully enroll in the Academy.

What is your educational background and/or training?

Danton Arlotto completed his Master’s degree in piano pedagogy at West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2017 and received professional K-12 music education certification through the state of Pennsylvania. His undergraduate degrees in keyboard performance and music theory and composition are also from West Chester University. Every teacher on the DocRocker team is handpicked, auditioned, and trained by Danton, and they all must meet robust criteria to even be considered for hiring.

Every DocRocker teacher meets Pennsylvania state education clearance requirements.

Can you elaborate on your pricing?

We offer various lesson packages, set at the starting rate of $75 per hour. We also incentivize long-term lesson packages with lower rates, and we offer discounted rates for family lessons. The longer the term (up to a year), the higher the discount. Payments are due monthly, regardless of what package you sign up for. For in person lessons, we charge a $5.00 travel fee per lesson. This fee is not charged for online lessons. For all students, in person and online, we charge a $1.00/month online subscription fee for student access to our online student library.

What should prospective students think through before beginning their journey with DocRocker Music Academy?

Am I sure I want to commit to music lessons? I need to set aside time for daily practice, invest in a worthy instrument, and pay a modest sum for a working professional to come to my house each week to monitor my progress. Music is a way of life; am I ready for the call?

What advice would you give a prospective student?

Hire someone who shows diverse experiences and abundant passion for the arts of music making and teaching. One-to-one music lessons involve just as much of a personal relationship between the teacher and student as they do professional skills of the teacher. Seek instructors who display good people skills and demonstrate flexibility in their work. A strong bond between the teacher and student can make or break the lessons.

What types of students have you worked with?

You name it, we have taught it. Rock, blues, classical, theatre, we have experience performing and writing in those styles. Young children to adults with no experience, high school kids preparing for college auditions, professional musicians with performing careers, we have experience teaching and improving musical skills on very deep levels. DocRocker Music Academy is a fully inclusive musical conduit, and we cannot see ourselves doing anything else better.

Describe a recent accomplishment.

In June, 2018, students at DocRocker Music Academy came together for the first time to give a public recital at a local retirement community in Downingtown, PA. Students varied from young child to adult, bare beginner to conservatory applicant, and piano to classical guitar. Everybody that attended thoroughly enjoyed the performances, and the residents loved every minute of it! 

Post pandemic, students at DocRocker Music Academy came together several times in 2022 for public student recitals. We performed at a local retirement community in the spring, a piano showroom floor in the summer, and a local church in the fall. We look forward to continually performing at several new locations throughout 2023 and beyond.