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Richmond, Virginia

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"I'm really glad I quit piano lessons when I was a kid."- Said No One Ever

What does success in music lessons look like to you?

November 27, 2018

 

    The decision to start music lessons is one of the best decisions a person can make. This can be for themselves or for their children. In such cases where a parent is deciding to enroll their child in music lessons it is important to identify where the motivation comes from and where the motivation will come from in the future. Children in the 7-12 age range are primed and ready to excel at learning an instrument, but relying on their motivation and decision to stick with it alone isn't always enough. Wouldn't you say this is true for any other school subject? The most successful music students, meaning those that achieve skill and enjoyment, were equally motivated by their own will and by parental support.  While we strive to make learning as fun and enjoyable as possible, the fact of the matter is that after a number of months or years even, it can get tough from a scheduling perspective. Other activities arise and motivation can fade. It is in these times when the vision and wisdom of the parent must prevail and support them through it.  Never judge a child's music lesson experience by the way they feel on the way to their lesson. Transitions are VERY hard for this age group. While for many students their music lesson is something they look forward to, for others coming straight from school or thinking about what play time they may be missing invokes an outright fit. You'll know how their learning and progress and overall experience is going by the way they feel AFTER the lesson.  Our hope for every student is that they find music both something enjoyable and something they can be good at. We use methods that make the feeling of success immediate, thus improving the student's self esteem and sense of accomplishment, but the road to true musical ability is long. If I had to define a set amount of time in which all children should be required to stick to piano or music lessons of some kind- it would be four years. I can almost guarantee that ANY one ages 7-12 that regularly enrolls in our program for that period of time will reach a solid level of musical literacy, appreciation and possibly even become part of their identity regardless of any talent level or amount of practice. It takes more than the child's motivation alone.  For some the thrill of on instrument is like nothing else. To others, honestly, it's just another subject they are told they have to learn.  Do you just want it to be fun or do you value it as a true and indispensable life enriching experience? For most it's somewhere in between. But for me and my mother, who took me to piano lessons each and every week and paid out of her pocket for ME ...it was the latter. The questions I might ask you then is.... what does success in music for your child look like for you? There are no wrong answers.

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