How To Get Your Child Started On An InstrumentJul 26, 2000 (Updated Dec 30, 2001) Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in Amplifiers and PreampsThe Bottom Line If your child develops and interest in and a love for music, you should be indeed pleased.
There are plenty of great Epinions in this category on WHY to get your child started in music. This one is meant to provide some tips on HOW.
Most school districts start band in fourth or fifth grade - ages 10-11. More on that below. If you have a younger child who is interested, the options are violin and piano.
The advantage of a violin for the young child is that they come in smaller sizes for the youngest players, who can then graduate to larger sizes as they grow. While pianos can be expensive, a tuned piano in the home can be used or a keyboard.
Because of attention span in youngest children, I recommend getting started with group lessons. These may be available through a local music store or park district. I got my son started through group lessons through the local park district. The teacher was marvelous and he ended up studying with her privately for several years.
For older children, band instruments become an option. Perhaps your child has been to band or orchestra concerts and has a desire. Or, they saw a demonstration of band instruments in the school and saw one that they like.
Once they have made a decision, then you need to find an instrument and determine if a private teacher is necessary.
I recommend renting an instrument from a competent music store. Your school should be able to provide you with a referral or two. There are several advantages. First, your child will be getting a good quality beginning instrument in good playing condition. Second, rental contracts usually included repairs and maintenance as part of the rental fee. Repairs can be expensive and I believe that it is necessary for the student to learn instrument care while learning to play the instrument. Third, the commitment is for no more than a quarter, so, if the student tires of the instrument or wants to play a different one, it's not expensive to make the change.
"Rent to Buy" agreements sometimes look as if they are more valuable than the straight rental. However, you need to see how that rental credit can be applied. For my son's violin, the equity buildup could be applied to any instrument in the store and we, with the help of his teacher, found a very good instrument to buy. However, some stores only apply the rent credit to the instrument being rented. That instrument may or may not be new and may or may not be appropriate for a developing, experienced student.
Next, you need to find a teacher. For starters, see what is available through your child's school. How often does band meet? Are there sectional (for example woodwinds, brass, percussion, string) classes? What have the experiences been of other people playing the same instrument? Answering these questions will give you an idea of what your child needs. If there is no additional attention for the student other than band class, then you should consider a private teacher. Private teachers can provide a good fundamental background (how to hold the instrument, how sound is produced, instrument care), at reasonable rates. So how do you find one?
I believe that referrals are the best source of finding the right teacher for your child. Referrals can come from your school (often there is a private teacher who can give lessons at the school), Music stores, the local park district, friends, lots of ways. Once you have referrals, you should talk to the teacher about the following:
Experience with your type of student - Does the teacher teach beginners? What is his/her philosophy? How many students do they have? What has their record been in developing students? How do they handle students that do not practice much? Do they want/encourage/allow parents to be present during the lessons? Can they provide references similar to your child? If so, I would suggest that you talk with the references.
Just as an aside, my own philosophy is the encourage the best development in my students but back away a little from the ones that do not practice much. For those, I try to make sure that they finish the lesson sounding better than the beginning and work with the parents to encourage them more. I choose not to ride the students because I don't want to turn them off from music. I think the hardest thing as a teacher is to have a student with talent who has no interest in developing it. I saw two of my son's music teachers be unable to handle that and I needed to find another teacher for him each time.
Credentials and Performances: What is their PRIMARY instrument? Where have they studied? What musical organizations are they in? Do they have a sample recording they can share?
Fees and Schedules: How much do they charge? Are they flexible as to times? As an example, I find that it is best to start new students on half-hour lessons. For some children, every week works well. For others, every other week is best. As the student develops, longer lessons may be beneficial. Is the teacher prepared to occasionally change lessons because of illness or other activities?
Once you have found the instrument and the teacher, it's time to play. Encourage your child to play. Positive reinforcement is best. One example is a behavioral mod approach where they get points for practicing toward something they like. Listen to your child practice. Find out what they like and buy the cds or borrow music from the public library. Take them to concerts. Go to all of their concerts.
I know that there is a lot of material here, but music is something that is very meaningful to me. I was blessed throughout my school years by a series of very good band directors within schools and private teachers. My private teachers have had a profound effect on me.
If your child develops and interest in and a love for music, you should be indeed pleased.
Thanks for reading. God Bless!
If you like mainstream and fusion jazz, check out my web site, www.jazzobsession.com. You’ll find information on my newly-released CD, The Power of Two by John Temmerman's Jazz Obsession Quartet. It is available through Amazon.com and www.cdbaby.com. However, I have a special discount available on sales through my web site. Come on by!
|Read all comments (4)|Write your own comment|
Ads by Google
Music Education Work In The Music Industry! Get A Degree In Entertainment Business.
Compose Music This Summer 5 weeks in New Hampshire. Ages 9-18. Beginners to Advanced.
Sell Your Music on iTunes Be on iTunes and collect royalties! Start today with our quick setup.