Parent and adult student report
1. Choosing an appropriate instrument or program based on the age of the student
Many adults take music lessons on all instruments. Adult students are generally not restricted on size or attention span. Adults can start anytime they are ready and their level of success is based on their commitment. Consistent practice is the key for students of any age.
We believe that all children can enjoy and will benefit from the study of music. Children respond joyously to the sounds of music and love to make musical sounds themselves. It is very important to choose an appropriate instrument for a child depending on their age. Sometimes starting on an instrument too young can create a negative association with playing music if the child is not ready. We want every student to have a positive experience with music so we’ve created general guidelines to helping you choose the right program or instrument for your child.
Birth – 5 years old
We offer Music Together® mixed age group classes for parents and their children. This class is designed to get the youngest students understanding musical concepts through listening and repetition. Students are introduced to many songs from all over the world. Students in Music Together® will also be exposed to a variety of musical instruments. Strong musical skills from an early age can be achieved through Music Together classes. Visit the MusicTogether.com site for more information. Visit our Music Together page: www.grossepointemusicacademy.com/music-together/.
Piano is an excellent instrument for students 5 years of age and older. Young students succeed with the piano because the instrument does not have to be held. The piano allows students to sit and play with music positioned directly in front of them. Students wanting to take other instruments will benefit strongly from piano lessons also. The piano keyboard and inherent design of the instrument makes it easy to produce a beautiful tone. This is very rewarding, especially to younger students.
Guitar- Acoustic, Classical, Electric, Bass
We recommend that students on guitar start out at age 7 or older. It is absolutely vital for students to start with a correctly sized instrument if they are starting from a young age. Guitar big box stores are notorious for convincing customers that the student will “grow into the guitar”. By that philosophy we should also purchase adult sized clothes for children to grow into. Classical guitars come in 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, and 4/4 sizes. Getting a properly sized guitar will give the student the best chance of success. Because of the weight and size of electric guitars and bass guitars, students should be at least 10 years old before starting.
Voice lessons are gaining every day in popularity. We have many young students that want to train their voice. Basic singing lessons are available for students aged 5 and up. Voice lessons that delve deeper into development of the breath, lung capacity, etc. are better suited for students 12 and up.
We recommend students on drum set to start at age 8 or whenever they can reach the bass drum and hi-hat pedals.
Flute, Saxophone, and Clarinet
Woodwind students should be at least 9 years old because of the lung capacity necessary to play these instruments effectively.
Violin, Viola, and Cello Lessons
Proper sizing of stringed instruments will determine the success. Violin students can start out as early as age 3 with the proper sized violin. Students of viola are generally 7 or older because they are bigger than the violin. Cello students should be 10 or older.
2. Lessons in a professional teaching space
It may seem like a nice convenience to have the music teacher over to the house. Home activities such as television, dogs, door-bell, phones ringing don’t usually stop just because someone in the family is having their lesson. We pride ourselves on creating an environment that is conducive to learning music. Each studio has the instruments, books, and other resources necessary to motivate and help students achieve their goals.
3. Professionally written lesson materials
Our teachers use professionally written and widely recognized teaching methods during lessons. This ensures that all aspect of learning an instrument will be covered and no important info will be left out. Using standard methods will help students if they should move to a new area and need to change schools. They will be able to pick up where they left off seamlessly. As a convenience to customers, we stock and sell method books for all of the instruments that we teach.
4. Tips for practicing
As with anything improving in music takes practice. One of the main problems with music lessons is the discipline of practicing and the fight between parents and students to practice every day. Here are some ways to make practicing easier:
Setting a time – Try setting a routine time of day for practice. Children and adults do very well with structure. If you set your time for earlier in the day, there is a good chance you will get a few extra repetitions in later in the day. If you keep your routine, or child’s routine up long enough, skill level will increase and it will naturally be more fun.
Repetition rather than number of minutes– Try setting a goal of how many times you will play a certain piece of music or exercise rather than how long you are going to practice for. 30 minutes per day is a good recommendation for some students but it doesn’t set a specific goal. Deciding how many times you will play something will often seem to make the time go by quicker and more is accomplished!
Reward yourself – We all like to be rewarded! Set practice goals then reward yourself or your child after the goal is achieved. This works great for all sorts of endeavors and especially music.
5. Make learning music enjoyable
There are many aspects to learning music. All of them are useless without there being an element of fun involved. The whole purpose of music is to enjoy it! Although there are many challenges to learning and practicing an instrument, it remains vital that students stay focused on having fun while doing it!