4 WAYS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF MUSIC LESSONS
These guidelines will help you to have a successful, rewarding experience learning an instrument.
1. HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG – STARTING AT THE RIGHT AGE
Adults can start any instrument at any time. Their success is based on how willing an adult is to commit to practicing. Many beginner students can be in their 60’s and 70’s. For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons. Some people will tell you “the sooner the better” but this attitude can actually backfire and be a negative. If a child is put into lessons too soon they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to stop lessons. The last thing you want to do is turn a child off music just because they had one unpleasant experience which could have been prevented. Sometimes if the child waits a year to start lessons their progress can be much faster. Children who are older than the suggested earliest starting age usually do very well. The following are guidelines we have found to be successful in determining how young a child can start taking music lessons.
8 years old is the earliest we recommend for guitar lessons. We are willing to try younger students if they are interested in pursuing guitar and if they have the patience and attention span to focus for the class. Guitar playing requires a fair amount of pressure on the fingertips from pressing on the strings. Children under 8 generally have small hands and may find playing uncomfortable.
Recorder, Flute, Clarinet
7 years old is the earliest we recommend for recorder lessons. Starting on the recorder is a a good basis for learning breath control & reading music, if the student is interested in progressing to other woodwinds such as flute & clarinet. Due to lung capacity for these woodwinds we recommend beginners are 9 and older.
2. INSIST ON PRIVATE LESSONS WHEN LEARNING A SPECIFIC INSTRUMENT
Group classes work well for preschool music programs, and theory lessons. However, when actually learning how to play an instrument, private lessons are far superior since in private lessons it is hard to miss anything, and each student can learn at their own pace. This means the teacher does not have to teach a class at a middle of the road level, but has the time and focus to work on the individual student’s strengths and weaknesses. For that lesson period, the student is the primary focus of the teacher. The teachers also enjoy this as they do not have to divide their attention.
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 focused on music education. In a professional school environment a student cannot be distracted by TV, pets, ringing phones, siblings or anything else. With only 1/2 to one hour of lesson time per week, a professional school environment can produce better results since the only focus at that time is learning music.
At the Academy of Dance & Music, in addition to these important details , we strive to make it a fun time for the students while giving them the necessary grounding in good basic technique.
We are conveniently located on the West Side, in the Rio Vista Church of the Nazarene, close to Taylor Ranch, Ventana Ranch & Rio Rancho, with easy access and ample parking. There is a convenient large waiting room for parents.