Updated: Aug 30
As parents we want the best for our kids, but there’s so much pressure! Reading, math, music, computers, sports and all the other activities can get overwhelming. But, we all want our kids to have a love for the arts right? We want them to develop the creative parts of their personality. We all love music too, in one way or another. So, if we aren’t musicians, we immediately think of private instrument lessons for our kids. Are private lessons the best option for kids, should we choose guitar lessons, piano lessons, violin lessons, voice lessons? What instrument should we choose, when should we start, how do we find a good teacher? Are private lessons enough for my child to actual be musical? These are all valid questions and we’re here to help, let’s dive in!
What are private instrument lessons?
This seems simple enough but there’s a bit more to this answer than meets the eye. Of course, taking private instrument lessons are one of the ways that someone learns to play an instrument. Being self-taught, or learning on your own is another common way people learn to play an instrument. But what private lessons cover, who teachers them and what else they can do for someone’s musical future is another story.
Are private lessons the best way for my child to learn music?
Well, this depends on a few things. How old are they, are they excited to start playing an instrument, to they have a desire to play a particular instrument, are you willing to consistently get them to their lessons, remind them to practice, etc. Kids can also get great benefits from group music classes, online music lessons or general music classes. These options can set a great musical foundation, get children excited about music, teach them a whole lot and can set them up to be way ahead if and when they do choose to start taking private instrument lessons.
"Kids can also get great benefits from group music classes, online music lessons or general music classes."
When do you get your child started with instrument lessons?
We recommend waiting until your child is at least six or seven years old before starting lessons. Here are the reasons why. First off, private lessons require concentration and practice. Your child’s lesson will usually last between 30 and 60 minutes. That leaves a whole lot of the rest of the week for your young one to practice. At the age of six kids start to have the motivation, ability to concentrate and follow through (with your help of course) to practice every day, or at least a few days a week. Before six it can be tough, however. Unless they are really driven, deeply love the instrument and have a phenomenal teacher we recommend waiting until at least six. Another factor is what instrument your child chooses to take lessons for. Some instruments are better than others to start with and some are better than others to wait to begin lessons for. You know your child best and if at six they are not ready to commit to a weekly lesson and a few days of practice wait a little longer. We don’t want to push your kids away from playing an instrument, we want them to get excited on their own and be drawn to playing, practicing and learning whatever instrument they (and you) choose to pursue. By the way we will talk about the best instruments to get your child started on in another blog, check that one out too!
"We recommend waiting until your child is at least six or seven years old before starting lessons."
How do you get your child excited to play an instrument?
You will entice them, reward them, even punish them for not focusing or practicing but ultimately you want your child to be excited and have a desire to play in instrument or take private instrument lessons themselves. That’s when they learn best, stick with the instrument and get the most out of their instrument lessons. We’ve found that kids who take group or online music classes before starting an instrument are more motivated, have a better understanding of musical concepts and ultimately do better when they take private instrument lessons. Also, music classes or online music education is a great compliment to private lessons and both can be done together as part of a well-rounded musical education. Our program My Music Workshop online is built to do just that! We offer a great way for kids to have fun learning music. We make learning music easy so kids stay engaged, learn a lot and ultimately want more. After spending some time learning at My Music Workshop Online, kids will have a basic understanding of the musical notes and how to read music, concepts like pitch, tempo, dynamics, and the beat, a wide variety of musical instruments, the structure of songs, patterns in music and tons more. Beyond that, we offer beginner lessons for ukulele, drums and keyboard/piano right on the site from instructors who specialize in working with kids. These can be done at your own pace, from home or anywhere else and can be repeated as much as you need to. This a great, low pressure way to get your kids to learn the basics of playing an instrument. Try My Music Workshop Online for free by clicking HERE.
Ok, my child is ready to start instrument lessons, how do I find a good local teacher?
First off, as this is being written we are in the midst of the Coronavirus situation so most teachers will be offering those lessons through ZOOM or SKYPE at the moment. We surely hope this passes safely and soon so that children and great music instructors can be together again. Whether through ZOOM or in person a great teacher is a HUGE key to your child learning, being excited and ultimately sticking with their instrument. We recommend that first and foremost you look for a teacher with experience. Someone who has taught your child’s age successfully, for several years. Ask for references, speak to other parents, this isn’t a small decision. There are a number of ways to connect to a local teacher. You can try a nearby music school, Craigslist (but be sure to check their references), or you can use a website that connects you to local music teachers. A few of these are takelessons.com and California music lessons. Of course you can also just on social media and ask your friends if they’ve used anyone that they like. Again we can’t stress enough the importance of finding someone who has experience with kids!
Ultimately private instrument lessons for kids are fantastic, great, stupendous, phenomenal and amazing IF you do a little homework upfront, wait for your child to be ready AND get them starting learning music a few years before they start their lessons. Learning music from an early age can lead to a lifetime of musical enjoyment, expression and joy and we recommend that all children be involved in learning music in some way. Rock On!