5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Private Music Lessons
These guidelines will help you or your child to have a successful, rewarding experience learning an instrument
1. How young is too young—Starting at the right age
For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons. This age can vary amoung many children. We recommend coming in for an interview lesson to see how the child reacts to it. Currently we have children as young as 5 yrs. Old. Some people will tell you “the sooner the better”. This attitude can actually backfire and become a negative. If a child is put into lessons too soon they can feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to stop lessons. The last thing you want to do is turn a child off to music just because they had one unpleasant experience which could have been prevented. Sometimes if a child waits a year to start lessons their progress can be much faster. Adults can start any
instrument at any age. Their success is based on how willing they are to commit to practicing.
Five years old is generally the youngest we start children in private piano lessons. At this age they have begun to develop longer attention spans and can retain material with greater ease. Student’s 5 & up also possess the hand size required for the keyboard. As in everything there can be exceptions. If you feel your young child is ready to start lessons bring them in for a trail interview/lesson with one of our instructors for an evaluation.
7 years old. Guitar requires a certain amount of pressure on the fingertips. There are undersized instruments available at most music stores for the younger student. Children under 7yrs. generally have smaller hands and may find it Uncomfortable at first until they develop the toughness on their fingers.
2. Insist on Private Lessons when learning an instrument
It is hard to miss anything in a private lesson, and each student can learn at their own pace. This means the teacher does not have to teach the class at a middle of the road level, but has the time and focus to work on the individual student’s strengths and weaknesses. By working privately with students, teachers enjoy helping students become the best they can be.
3. Take Lessons in a Professional Teaching Environment
Learning music is not just a matter of having a qualified teacher, but also having an environment that is dedicated to performing arts education. In a professional school environment a student cannot be distracted by pets, TV, ringing phones, siblings or anything else. In a school environment students are motivated by hearing other students at different levels and by being exposed to a variety of musical instruments and other areas of the performing arts.
4. Make Practice Easier
As with anything, improving in music takes practice. Here are some ways to make practicing easier.
- Time: Set the same time every day or 3 times a week to practice so it becomes part of a routine or habit.
- Repetition: Instead of using a time frame we suggest repetition. For example, practice this piece 4 times and play this scale 5 times. Also try this approach. Ask your child to practice for just 5 minutes. You’ll both be surprised how easily 5
minutes turns into 15 or 20 minutes.
- Rewards: Praise tends to be the most coveted award— there just is no substitute for a pat on the back for a job well done. Sometimes we all have a week with little practicing, in that case there is always next week.
5. Have Fun!
Music should be something that you enjoy for a lifetime, so don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your children to learn too quickly. Everyone learns at a different pace and the key is to enjoy the journey.