piano lessons

About a month ago I was asked to write an article about music instruction for a local IMG_1097neighborhood website. They were requesting answers to common questions posed by parents considering lessons for their children. It just so happened I ran into some wonderful articles addressing this same topic so I’ve woven them in within my post below. -Leila

Is there ever a day that doesn’t include music? Think of the moments that would not be the same without music–in the car, at the fitness club, during Sunday worship, at the movies, on the TV, at the big game and on your smart device. Admit it, imagining life without music would be‚Ķunimaginable.

Although not everyone is destined to be a concert artist, every human being can be a music maker and enthusiast. Once one explores creating music on an instrument and invests in lessons, an appreciation grows which then instills an admiration for a lifetime.  Giving your child or yourself the gift of learning music on any instrument is something to treasure but finding the right teacher, the perfect fit to suit your interest level is not always easy. Below are answers to some of the most common questions posed by parents who want to know more about the process of learning music and finding the right teacher.

IMG_0343Note: these answers can be applicable to adults looking for a music teacher as well–you are always young enough to learn!

How can I tell when my child is ready for lessons?

You may be unaware of your child’s innate readiness for making music but there are some signs that should help you make that assessment. Here are specific suggestions that will assist you prior to embarking on a music teacher hunt: [···]

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I am told I am a good teacher, and I have been complimented on my patience level, but the truth is, I am naturally very, very impatient. This is something I work hard at cultivating. Sometimes during a lesson, I will have a look of calm expression on my face, but inside I am screaming, “Wrong finger!!! Why can’t you get this right??!!” and then I breathe deep and say softly, “That was great. Now try it like this…”

Patience must be the most difficult trait to develop during the beginning stages of teaching. In group psychology, there is a theory that when you get into any social situation (work, school, party, relationship, etc.) you will instinctually take on the same role you played in your family as a child. So if you were the oldest of 8 kids and your mom’s right-hand caregiver, then you probably are already conditioned to be incredibly patient. But if you grew up in a small family, and your primary form of communication was shouting and name-calling, you may have to work on this a bit. [···]

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Great relationships rely on clear expectations and good communication. Without a Studio Policy you could potentially damage the most important relationships in your teaching practice. An effective Studio Policy, and the consistent enforcement of it, will help you build and maintain solid relationships with your students. A Studio Policy both informs your student as to what they can expect from you, and most importantly it sets out your expectations of your students. Without a solid Studio Policy, you will inevitably spend less energy on teaching and more on managing people. [···]

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