One of the most common questions we are asked is, “why should my child take private lessons if they are already in band or orchestra at school?” Learning to play a musical instrument can be a much more daunting task than a child (or parent) may expect. Here are just a few of the reasons why private lessons are for everyone:
Private Lessons Help Students Keep Up With Peers in a Group Setting.
Because of the many aspects of performing an instrument, children will all progress differently. There are many subtleties to playing an instrument, and if a student doesn’t get help from a specialist, they could develop improper techniques that will hinder their progress in the future.
With a private instructor, students more quickly learn the fundamentals of playing their instrument. They receive instant feedback on areas that need improvement; find solutions to problems; and develop a practice plan to correct weaknesses. This solid foundation helps build the confidence they need to keep learning their instrument.
Band and orchestra classes are rehearsals, not private practice sessions. Each student is expected to come to class with their parts prepared so that the director can put all the pieces together to create and ensemble. The director is tasked with getting dozens of students with various levels of playing abilities to perform together cohesively. Private lessons give students individual time with an instructor that specializes in their instrument so that they can focus on their problem areas. It’s sad to see a child give up learning an instrument out of frustration when all that was needed was a little personal attention.
Private Lessons Teach Your Child How to Practice.
A young musician needs to learn HOW to practice. In private lessons, we often spend more time with a student on practice skills than anything else. And not only with beginners, but advanced students as well. By meeting one-on-one every week, getting solutions for their specific frustrations, and working on a specific practice plan, the student will stay motivated and get the most out of their individual practice time. They will have control over their practice time and know that they will get results.
More Advanced Students Will Benefit From Their Instructor’s Knowledge of Musical Styles and Literature.
Students who want to learn music beyond what they are learning in band and orchestra will be able to enjoy solo repertoire and technique exercises that will keep them engaged and progressing on their instrument. Private instructors have a vast knowledge of their specific instrument, so they can suggest new music to play, recordings or musicians to listen to, and can help students develop larger goals for what they want to achieve on their instrument.
Students That Wish to Audition for ILMEA and Advanced Groups at Their School Need the Help of a Private Instructor to Prepare for Auditions.
A rehearsal is just that: a group rehearsal focused on putting the entire ensemble together. It is not intended as a practice sessions for your child to learn their parts and prepare for auditions. Materials for individual auditions need to be learned in the students’ private practice time. These materials are often complicated and contain techniques not learned in rehearsal. This is especially true for students wishing to audition into higher level orchestras, bands, and into their school’s jazz band. So, it is crucial to have a private instructor to answer questions, explain techniques, and give practice suggestions.
Music lessons are for everyone! Whether your child goes into private lessons determined to master their instrument, or just wants to win a better seat in band, they won’t regret the decision to take lessons. In fact, students who take private lessons generally continue to pursue their instrument after they graduate from school. Private instruction will make learning an instrument fun and maximize your young musician’s opportunity for musical success.