Starting Music Lessons
If you’ve never taken music lessons before, you may have no idea how long lessons should be. When signing up for lessons this is one of the most common questions I hear. In the end, the most important part of lessons is what happens when the teacher is not there. That’s right, practice. Does it really matter then how long each lesson is and how often they should happen? Yes, it definitely does.
Music lessons are not enough for your child to learn an instrument. Some people have the misconception that if they get their child music lessons, then magically they will learn how to play a musical instrument. If you get your child a tutor for math, they should come out knowing how to do math better right? Sure, that’s why you get them a tutor, but music lessons don’t really work the same way. In order for your child to succeed, you need to take a hands on approach to the lessons.
In the 90s my parents bought some software that was connected to our computer that taught me the basics of piano. I never took actual lessons until high school, but the lessons on the computer were fun and started me in the right direction. That was 15 years ago, and now there is some amazing software out there that can help you or your students towards your goal of learning how to play piano. Most of the software out there is best used in conjunction with piano lessons, but if price is an issue, a lot of this software can help a beginning student through the beginning stages of lessons.
Your child was excited to get started learning music. You bought an instrument, hired a great teacher, and you bought some great method books. They’ll be a great musician in no time, right? If only it was that easy. Music lessons will not make your child a great musician. That’s important to understand. Some people think that if their child just takes music lessons for a few years, they’ll learn music. It just doesn’t work that way. Your child will only learn their instrument if they practice. If your child isn’t going to practice, why take lessons at all?
You probably have heard all the horror stories of parents forcing their children to practice, maybe you lived it as a child. You don’t have to be a tyrant to get your child to practice. You don’t even have to be a musician.
You’ve finally found a music teacher that is the right price, at the right location, and at the right time, but is the teacher the right teacher for you or your child? If you’re paying for music lessons, your goal is to actually get better not just to take music lessons right? Then you need to be aware of what to look for in a teacher, but you also need to be willing to give your teacher enough of a chance to do a good job.
You’re not a kid anymore, but you’ve always wanted to learn music. Maybe you had piano lessons that you regret quitting as a kid, or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to sing. Is it too late? Is there no hope? There is definitely hope. You can learn to play or sing really well no matter what age you are.
Although you can learn at any age, there are some things that you definitely should keep in mind.
If you’ve been looking for music lessons recently, you’ve probably noticed quite a bit of talk about taking private lessons online. Sure there are tutorials, videos, and a ton of articles on how to play an instrument, but we all know that private lessons are best. Getting direct one on one attention is paramount.
In the past, there have only been a couple of options when it comes to private lessons. You could go to the teacher’s home or studio, or the teacher could go to you. It seems like those are the obvious options, but lately online video chat lessons have started to gain popularity. There are a lot of good reasons that people have started taking them in droves.
If you’re looking into music lessons for your child, you’ll find a lot of options. You can take group lessons, private lessons, lessons online, or you can even throw some YouTube tutorials at them. All of these options have their merits and their drawbacks, but for now let’s look into group lessons versus private lessons.
What age should a child start piano lessons? There are varying thoughts on the subject. Many teachers feel very strongly that a student must know their numbers, letters, and how to read first. These teachers usually feel comfortable teaching a student as young as 5. Of course this varies by teacher, but you’ll be able to find many teachers that will start a student at that age.
When a child is younger than 5, however, there are many different obstacles that come into play. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Students can start at 3. Lessons do need to be adjusted, and expectations changed, but if handled correctly a 3 year old can get amazing results from their piano lessons.
Far too often I’ve seen students will begin music lessons excited to learn, but then a few months go by and for whatever reason they lose interest. Practicing stops. Progress stops. Eventually the parents notice, and inevitably the parent will say, “Music just isn’t for little Johnny.”
But why does this happen? Why did they go into learning an instrument with so much excitement only to soon loose interest? Is it because learning to play an instrument is just that boring? Perhaps the better question is, “how do we better motivate kids to continue with music lessons indefinitely?”