Is Hone for me?

the “ideal Hone student” checklist

Is Hone a good fit for you?

If any of these are true for you or your student…

  • You write your own songs and want to make high quality recordings of your original material.

  • You like to listen to pop, hip-hop, or electronic music and are curious about producing music on your own computer.

  • You are accomplished on a specific instrument, but would like to learn how to compose and record.

  • You are interested in pursuing a career as a music leader or tech director at a church.

  • You’ve already done some home recording, but want to take your production skills to a professional level.

  • You want to build a portfolio for college with original compositions and/or productions.

  • You’ve always loved music and have a desire to hone a craft that allows you to make your own musical contribution to the world.

  • You used to take private music lessons, but are craving more creativity, excitement, and real world application.

then the answer is yes.

the Hone major scale of topics

The major scale (do, re, mi… you’ve heard it) has 7 notes. Here at Hone, there are 7 areas of focus most of our students will cover.

(This list of topics is meant to show the unique approach of Hone. It’s not necessarily a comprehensive look at every single thing an individual may cover, and some students won’t need to talk about every point, depending on their interests and goals.)

The Hone Major Scale of Topics:

  • production

  • songwriting

  • practical music theory

  • instrument tutoring

  • virtual instruments, MIDI, & sound design

  • modern musicianship

  • digital distribution & live performance

1) Production
With high quality software now readily available and affordable, it’s never been easier to experiment with music production — but there is a downside. The overwhelming amount of tutorials and articles out there often leave self-taught students with large gaps in their understanding and skill sets, and the ubiquity of production software has also made it harder for talented people to stand out amidst the noise. So while it’s “easier than ever” in one sense, it’s also never been more important to have an experienced guide through the learning process. That’s where Hone comes in.

”Music Production” is a broad term that encompasses many things — recording, editing, artistic decision making, mixing (and remixing), to name a few — and Hone covers absolutely every step of the process. From the first time you open your DAW (software) to a fully mixed and mastered final product of professional quality.

Almost all Hone students will touch on some aspect of production (that’s why it’s the first “note” of the scale), but the exact needs and goals of each student will differ. A student who wants to be a songwriter may only want to learn enough to record simple demos of their original songs. Another student who wants to work in a big studio will want to know all the ins and outs of the editing and mixing process. While a third student may want to make electronic remixes, which will require yet another skillset.

Hone provides comprehensive guidance for all aspects of modern music production.

2) Songwriting
The guiding principle behind everything at Hone is that students will hone their craft with the end goal always being that they unleash their creativity. In many cases that means writing original music.

Sharing original art can be intimidating for most people. That’s why having a trusted mentor who can offer sage advice and is on your side can make all the difference between a creative young person keeping everything they make to themselves vs. a young artist confidently shares their work with the world.

Whatever writing original music looks like for the student — from acoustic singer/songwriters, to rappers, to movie score composers — Hone can be a vital partner is crafting the skills and artistic voice of young creatives and giving them the confidence to share their original work.

3) Practical Music Theory
The term “music theory” can sound misleadingly uninteresting and abstract, so we added that all-important word in there — practical. Students will not be asked to dissect the harmonic structure of a Bach piece, or write an essay on Miles Davis’ exploration of modal jazz. (Unless, of course, they want to compose complex classical scores or bring back modal jazz for a new generation.)

Music theory, despite it’s academic sounding name, is actually one of the most exciting parts of a good music education, because once understood it equips the student to make music on their own, which is the end goal of everything at Hone. Understanding how music works is like knowing how to read the map. Once you have that down you can go exploring on your own.

Every student will touch on music theory to some degree. And, like everything else at Hone, what is taught and how it’s applied will be tailored to each student’s unique personality and goals.

4) Instrument Tutoring
Most students start with Hone having previously taken some amount of lessons on at least one instrument. What many students find lacking in their traditional private lessons they end up finding in lessons with Hone.

Students will learn how to use their instrument(s) as creative tools. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a guitar to learn how to strum along to your favorite songs and sing along, and there’s nothing wrong with training hard on an instrument and learning to play back written pieces like a musical robot. But that’s not what you’ll find at Hone. Here, it’s all about mastering your instrument to the point where it can be used as an effective creative tool for your personal music creation. And, as with every other point on this list, what that looks like precisely will vary student to student.

Currently, Hone offers instrument specific tutoring for:

  • Guitar (acoustic, electric, bass)

  • Piano/Keyboard (non-classical style)

  • Beat Making

If your instrument isn’t on this list much of your instrument tutoring will fall more under the category of music theory and your teacher will help you apply those ideas to your instrument(s) of choice.

5) Virtual Instruments, MIDI, and Sound Design
The modern musician has the whole world of musical options only a click away. Someone with the proper skillset can have a symphony in their laptop. A teenager in their bedroom can play sounds designed to sound nearly identical to a $100,000 piano. It’s possible for one person to create an album of songs where they play every individual part themselves and digitally simulate instruments they don’t have access to — or don’t even know how to play!

There is a large number of virtual instruments available today, and no one has access to all them (or needs to). Mastering a certain set of skills will apply to almost any virtual instrument you encounter, which sets you up for success in the digital music age. Students will learn to work with MIDI, create their own sounds, and master the many parameters used in virtual instruments.

Understanding virtual instruments and MIDI is a nearly essential skill for most musicians and producers in this era. Luckily, it’s a world of fun to explore.

6) Modern Musicianship
Contrary to some preconceptions raw talent is a relatively small, even often unnecessary piece of the puzzle. Learning technical skills is a larger piece, yet still far from the whole picture.

More vital than raw talent or technical skills to success as a musician is developing the needed set of practical skills and good habits for navigating the life of a musician.

Hone students will receive practical guidance as they learn how to do things such as:

  • reach out to potential collaborators
    capture and organize their ideas
    develop a strong practice habit
    grow a diverse portfolio
    know what gear is worth investing in (and not)
    book gigs
    prepare for live performances
    and more!

This personalized mentorship is yet another service Hone provides that reading articles, watching YouTube videos, and even taking average music lessons simply cannot compete with.

7) Digital Distribution & Live Performance
So, you’ve finally crossed the finish line and made something you’re really proud of… now what?

Hone students will be guided through the process of mastering their songs and delivering them to all the digital streaming services and online stores so that the whole world can hear! Students who want to perform live will also be coached on how to prepare for and execute their performances.

This important last step of the musical process is one that can be scary for anyone, especially when sharing your work is new to you. But Hone students will learn to share their work with excellence, confidence, and joy.

All of the following are recommendations, not requirements.

Recommended Ages:
8th-12th Grade

Recommended Previous Experience:
Familiarity with at least one main instrument
A rudimentary understanding of music theory

Recommended Attributes:
A desire to learn and improve
An ability to stick with something over time
A love of music and a creative spirit

Recommended Gear:
This varies depending on the student’s goals
(see other page)

rates & payment model
$120 per month
Billed monthly on 1st or 15th of month (not per lesson)

Payment Includes:
A weekly session (4 or 5 per monthly payment)

Read all about weekly sessions here.

This is already a great value for the quality and customization of these private lessons, but some other great things about the weekly sessions as compared to traditional private lessons:

  • no commute time — take lessons from anywhere!

  • more specialized topics covered (see list)

  • artist-centric approach — the goal is to equip you to create your own music

In addition, you’ll also receive some other major perks, included with your one payment:

  • message your teacher during the week for clarity or feedback with a 24-hour response guarantee

  • “Office Hours” where your teacher will be online to chat

  • The chance to collaborate with other students (optional)

  • Occasional bonus content sent out to all students

  • All the things that set Hone apart (see list)

Cancellation Policies
When students have a planned unavailability for 1-2 weeks we will work to “make up” time over the coming 1-2 months.

If you are unable to make your weekly session, you’ll be given an option for a rescheduled time later that week. If you consistently are unable to make your lesson time it’s always possible to try to work out a new time slot.

If you’d like to pause lessons for a time longer than 1-2 weeks with the hope of returning later, we ask for one month’s notice.

You can cancel lessons at any time. You will not be refunded for any lessons not taken for the current month, and billing will immediately be stopped so that you will not be charged for the next month.