A Super Helpful Guide to Music Lessons...
That all parents and students should read!
1. Start at the right age
Adults that are interested in getting lessons for the first time can easily start with any instrument with ease. Many instruments require a certain amount of lung power, finger strength, or body size that children may not possess at too young of an age. Take a look at our separate AGE GUIDELINES that follow for more information.
2. Insist on private lessons when learning a specific instrument
Group classes work well for theory lessons, however, when actually learning how to play an instrument, private lessons are far superior. In private lessons, it is hard to miss anything and the student can progress at their own pace. The teacher can focus on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. For the lesson period, the student is the the primary focus of the teacher.
3. Take lessons in a professional teaching environment
Learning music is not just a matter of having a qualified teacher but also an environment that is focused on music education. In a professional schooled environment, a student cannot be distracted by TV, pets, ringing phones, siblings or anything else. With busy family schedules that leave students with limited time for learning, a professional schooled environment can produce better results since the only focus at that time is learning music. Students are also motivated by hearing peers who are at different levels and by being exposed to a variety of musicians and instruments. In a music school, lessons are not a hobby for teachers; it is a responsibility that is taken very seriously.
As with anything, improving in music takes practice. One of the biggest challenges with music lessons is preventing the 'drudgery of practicing every day' that often creates the fight between parents and students. So, how do we prevent that?
Use the three “R's” to make practice effective, rewarding, and fun:
Routine – Practice the same time each day
5. Use recognized materials
Choosing the appropriate lesson books for the student's skill level is critical. Our teachers, lesson director, and office staff are extensively familiar with the wide variety of books and learning tools available for music students. They'll help you choose the book that best fits your playing ability, so you are neither overwhelmed nor bored. It's essential to pick materials that focus on proper playing technique and skill development while also recognizing the need to select music that the student recognizes, enjoys, and wants to play. Many different levels of books are available, making it easy to start comfortably. These materials have been researched and are continually upgraded and improved to make learning easier, and ensure that no relevant part of learning the instrument is inadvertently left out. Using universally accepted material also makes it easy to change teachers and continue lessons smoothly if you happen to move to a new location.
6. Have Fun!!!
Music should be something that you enjoy for a lifetime! Try not to put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your children to learn quickly. Everyone learns at a different pace and the key is to be able to enjoy!
How Young Is Too Young? Starting At The Right Age
Adults can start any instrument at any time. Their success if based on how willing an adult is to commit to practicing. We teach many beginner students in their 60′s and 70′s.
For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons.
18 months to 5 Years Old:
If a preschooler has a keen desire and loves music, a preschool music class will give them a good foundation in music basics, which will give them an advantage in later lessons. At this age, group lessons generally work as the child experiences the formal learning environment of kindergarten or school, and learn most effectively through the games oriented preschool environment. We offer Music FunTime, an innovative and proven early childhood curriculum, for kids 18 months to 7 years old. Voted BEST preschool and young child music program bySuburban Family Magazine three years in a row! Children 18 months to 7 years can learn to read music notation and symbols, play instruments, and learn the fundamentals of music theory, while fostering their ability to grasp math and science as they develop. Click here for more information about Music FunTime.
At our school, 5 years old is the youngest age that we start children in private piano lessons. At this age, they have begun to develop longer attention spans and can retain material with ease.
Guitar (Acoustic, Electric, Bass):
Seven years old is the earliest we recommend for guitar lessons. Guitar playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips from pressing on the strings. Children under seven generally have small hands and may find playing uncomfortable. Bass guitar students generally are 8 years and older.
Nine years old is recommended as the youngest age for private vocal lessons, due to the physical nature of voice lessons (proper breathing techniques, development of the vocal chords and lung capacity). The younger body is generally not ready for the rigors of serious vocal technique.
The average age of our youngest drum student is seven. This varies greatly depending on the size of the child. They have to be able to reach both the pedals and the cymbals.
Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone and other Woodwinds:
Due to lung capacity (and in the case of saxophone, the size of the instrument), we recommend that most woodwind beginners are 8 and older.
We accept violin students from the age of five. Experience has shown us the most productive learning occurs when the beginner is 5 or older.
Trumpet, Trombone and Brass Instruments:
The trumpet & trombone require physical exertion and lung power. 8 years and older is a good time to start these instruments.
For Ages 8 to 18, Rock University is a 3 hour weekly band rehearsal group where students put their knowledge to practical use. These are not one on one lessons so guitar and keyboard players need to know their basic chords, be able to change chords in rhythm, and drummers need to be able to keep a steady beat. A fun way to boost playing skills and get valuable on-stage experience. Click here to learn more about Rock U.