private music lessons: Is my child ready?
Private music lessons for children is an often overlooked tool in improving a student’s musical ability. Most school environments are not conducive to individual attention for each student to play their best. The band director and staff only have so much information on each instrument, and are not able to give complete instruction on how to play the french horn. Hornists require more detailed instruction because there are many elements to playing the horn. Is your child a beginner or have they been playing a while? Getting the right help as early as possible is key to the success of your student. Let’s look at some simple indicators that show your student is ready for private music lessons.
6 ways to know your child is ready for private music lesson
Take a look at these five indicators your child is ready to take their musicality up a notch with private music lessons. Trust your gut and then let’s book a call to explore your options.
1. your child shows an interest in music
Private music lessons are a natural next step for a curious learner. Maybe someone in your family plays an instrument and they are drawn to it and want to try it or are they allowed to play around with it. Or maybe they enjoy going to concerts if you’ve exposed them to live music. Maybe there was a concert at school, and they loved the sound of a specific instrument. Maybe they love listening to instrumental music online, on the radio, on iTunes, or watching YouTube music videos. If they have expressed interest in any way shape or form in music and playing music, it is a great sign that this is something to explore. As you continue to encourage listening online, on the radio, at home and live, in concert, getting them a playable instrument can simply start off with a rental instrument. If this is interest continues it is prime time to look into acquiring an instrument and a private teacher to get them started on the right foot! If you find a teacher first, you may be able to get help locating an instrument if you have not already. Many people prefer to rent first before purchasing and it is a good way to get your feet wet prior to committing to a purchase.
2. Your child can sit still, focus and follow directions
Private music lessons take focus. Depending on the age and instrument, it could be varying lengths including 20, 30, 45 or 60 minutes of private or even group lessons. The focus remains to be able to sit and practice skills taught at the lesson at home. Younger students may need help from parents. Beginners need to learn basics and won’t be practicing for as long a period of time initially. But being able to sit down and apply what is taught, much like homework, in this case learning a new skill related to music is necessary. Consistency is the key at first. Developing good habits takes time and focus and discipline.
3. They know their abc's and 123's
Playing music requires being able to know the ABCs from A-G, the musical alphabet. They need to be able to count initially up to 10. If they are confident in this, it will make studying and playing music much easier for your child and the teacher. The youngest students tend to start on Violin or Piano or even Ukulele.
4. do they fit the instrument?
Private music lessons will help determine if they fit the instrument they would like to play, then that is another great piece of criteria to consider getting started! While strings, violins, guitars, cellos, etc., tend to have various sizes, that is not always the case for Woodwinds and Brass. Although, there are now 2 companies that make ¾ sized French Horns, and some trumpet players may consider Coronet rather than Trumpet initially, so looking into something if your child is really interested, you might be able to make things work. Sometimes private music teachers will have tricks to help beginners be able to play while kids are growing as well. If you use a reduced sized instrument, it just means as they grow you will be changing instruments. This is mostly in regard to strings. (violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar). There are a few things we can do with a French Horn to make it playable if it is a tad too large.
For French Horn and Brass instruments, it used to be typical to start as early as 4th grade, but frequently it is now 6th grade. This is mostly due to lack of funding of public-school programs and not the actual size of the kids playing. For French Horn there are also Single and Double Horns, and most beginners only need a single F or single Bb French Horn.
5. does your child have a good ear for music?
Private music lessons are easier for those with a good ear. If your child can sing Happy Birthday, for example relatively in tune, or match a pitch, or note you sing; then they sing it back to you in tune, then choosing whatever instrument they want to play is completely open! When you are playing a brass instrument in particular this is an important point and makes it light years easier to learn an instrument such as this.
Maybe part of their good ear is having the ability to hear or tap the beat to the songs they hear. That is a good start as well!
6. does your child have consistent access to an instrument?
Access to instruments is key to taking music lessons. This might seem like something you do not need to state, but it is amazing how many people think they can take lessons and maybe the teacher will provide an instrument. Or, maybe they think for piano they can use their toy piano instead of a regular sized keyboard or piano. If you want to play French Horn, or Bassoon, but you do not have access to an instrument, or piano, but you have no place to store your piano, it makes it a little bit difficult to start up lessons until you figure out a solution. If you aren’t sure how to gain access to an instrument, book a consult with me and we will find solutions that work for your student.