You’ve decided to put a child into music lessons – great! By making that choice you are on the road to having, statistically, a more creative, intelligent and successful child. You’ve picked an instrument and you’re all ready to start – but where? Are In Home Music Lessons or lessons at a local school better?
You have several options for music lessons. Let’s look at them in order:
This is a fast-growing type of lesson today, and it’s easy to see why: A music teacher drives to your home and teaches, using your own piano or drum set, or guitar. The benefit here is obvious – no need to leave the house, sit in traffic, or find parking. However, let’s ask some important questions about lesson quality: Is your child really able to concentrate? Did your teacher show up on time? Is the dog barking? Are siblings trying to pester each other during the lesson? And who’s keeping tabs on the teachers?
Speaking of siblings, one drawback with in home lessons is the inability to have more than one sibling learn at a time – a local school will be able to do 2-3 children at a time, saving the parent 30-60 minutes in waiting. The extra waiting time tends to undo any benefit gained by not having to drive anywhere.
(Note: Along with in-person lessons, this also describes some of the challenges with online training courses and YouTube videos. Also, although convenient, learn-at-home courses tend to lack the accountability and regularity that a human teacher provides.)
The possible benefit is that the teacher might have a dedicated space for learning. However, there could still be distractions if their family or pets are home. There’s still no-one checking the teacher’s qualifications; for example the teacher may be under-qualified to teach to your child’s level, however without doing research and asking for proof of qualifications, most customers won’t find out before doing business with them. In addition, their set-up may not be ideal (out of tune piano, improperly maintained drum kit). Lastly, they can only teach one sibling at a time – imagine having a 1 hour wait versus a 30 minute wait in a local school. And where do they hold their recitals?
The individual practice rooms ensure no distractions, and the school is well equipped with in-tune pianos, books, and staff to help with scheduling and billing. If you have multiple children, they can take lessons at the same time. This is simply the best way to learn an instrument, and what better way to showcase your child’s new skills than at a fancy, professional and fun recital?
So why not make the best choice – high-quality music instruction to make your lesson money go further, and build musical skills faster than you ever thought possible.
Learn more at musicboxnw.ca/request-info
There are approximately one thousand, five hundred musical instruments on planet earth…and most we’ve never even heard of (what’s a cat piano?) So how do you decide the best instrument for kids to learn?
A child is probably only considering about three or four different instruments, such as piano, violin or guitar. And this can be tricky for parents, who often think, “What if I let them choose the wrong instrument”? or “What if they choose drums?”. (We should add that an electronic drum kit is a quieter option that works great for apartments and small houses!)
The most versatile and popular instrument is still the piano. You just won’t find anything else that’s able to cover such a broad range of pop, jazz, classical and rock music as easily. This is why it is known as a “foundational instrument”.
Guitar and violin remain very popular in our school, due to the expressive nature of stringed instruments. Plus, they’re easier to bring home than a piano. Many students who enjoy rock music gravitate toward the electric guitar. If your family attends church, acoustic guitar works very well for praise and worship music.
When choosing an instrument for a child, you should consider factors such as physical size, natural ability and the child’s likes and interests. For example, a student with tiny hands may have trouble playing the upright bass. A student with large fingers may have trouble fretting chords on an electric guitar (disclaimer: we strongly believe that any physical limitation can be overcome by dedication and practice, within reason).
No matter what a child chooses, the most important thing is the support they receive and effort they put in. Having a great, professional teacher will make them want to practice and grow their musical vocabulary.
Take the next step – visit www.musicboxnw.ca/request-info
Music Box – New Westminster’s Music School!
Some children demonstrate a love of melody and rhythm from a very early age. Babies can clap their hands to a beat as young as 6 months old. A two-year old can copy basic melodies and lyrics. It can be tempting to run out and sign them up for lessons, but how young is *too* young?
First of all, we want to encourage parents to introduce music to a child as early as possible. Have music playing in the home, and sing to/with your children as often as you can. In our household, we like to sing good-night songs, as well as songs when brushing their teeth, cleaning up, etc. (BONUS: Singing “Clean up” songs has a Mary-Poppins-like effect that actually makes them want to participate in putting away toys).
The youngest age we recommend for private music lessons is 4 years old. It may seem early, but listen to this: In a study of preschoolers, children who took weekly piano lessons showed a 34% improvement in spatial skills than the children who did not take lessons. Starting music lessons at a preschool age can give your child huge developmental benefits.
If they’re less than four years old, a group class may be a great option. Parent/child participation in a group setting can establish a lifelong love of music. These classes are also a wonderful way to meet other parents in the area.
Our daughter attended group music classes from just 3 months old, and we actually noticed a difference in her vocabulary and math development compared with our second child, who did not attend classes regularly. We believe this was due to her early exposure to rhythm and music in a social setting, which laid the foundation for pattern recognition, language and self-expression.
Watch children as they listen to music – do they stomp their feet, hum along or play air guitar? They may be ready to pick up an instrument.
Take children to a music shop, church or somewhere there are many instruments available to see/touch. Watch to see if they gravitate toward any particular instrument. For example, our son always runs up to the drum set after church service ends. Needless to say, we have started him on drum lessons.
Caution: NEVER force a child to take music lessons. Nothing will form a negative association faster than making them practice something they’re not even slightly interested in. Yes, they may groan before a lesson (especially if they were in the middle of their favorite TV show), but this is normal; regular commitment and dedication is not easy, week after week. However, a child that dreads attending lessons will quickly associate musicianship with boredom or frustration, and will likely avoid it later in life.
A great music teacher can inspire a student to grow and push the limits of their ability. Our professional instructors are ready to help your kids become their very best.
Take the next step – visit musicboxnw.ca/request-info
Music Box – Music Lessons New Westminster
Would you like to play Fur Elise? Well, you could do this in perhaps 1-2 years of study. Or a concentrated month of doing nothing else:
You could do this in 7 years. Seven. At least:
For the average student, It takes generally 7 years of piano study to have the skills necessary to play the entirety of Beethoven’s very famous and beautiful “Fur Elise.” What is required? Patience throughout the time it takes to build the necessary skills. Persistence to learn, practice and perfect the skills. Persistence & Patience to learn the difficult piece itself over 1-3 months.
Piano lessons (or any private instrument music lesson studies) are not a race, they are a journey.
Patience is built through:
Persistence is built through:
How hard is it to keep going when things get tough? It’s difficult. But having patience to preserve through those tough times can bring some of the greatest satisfaction in life. Learning an instrument is difficult. You must be patient with your child and yourself. Our natural desire for big results now, is not possible when learning a musical instrument, slow and steady wins the race.
How do you encourage these important traits of Patience and Perseverance in your children? To grow them to be people and adults that don’t give up when things get hard? That are in things for the long haul and finish what they start? Even when it’s hard to say, “Try, try again?”
Music study is the answer for some.
Consider this quote from Einstein, even with the difficulty that comes, “I get most joy in life out of music.”
-Vashti originally posted this first on January 10th at kidsnewwest.ca