Parent and adult student report
1. Choosing an appropriate instrument or program based on the age of the student
To ensure a positive and successful music learning experience, we offer lessons to many adults on all instruments. Unlike children, adult students are not restricted by size or attention span and can start at any time. However, their level of success is based on their commitment and consistent practice.
We strongly believe that all children can enjoy and benefit from music lessons. It brings joy to their lives and fosters a love for creating musical sounds. However, choosing an appropriate instrument for a child is crucial and depends on their age. Starting too young may create a negative association with playing music if the child is not ready. That’s why we have established general guidelines to help you select the right program or instrument for your child, and to ensure that they have a positive experience with music.
Birth – 5 years old
Our Music Together® mixed age group classes provide a fun and interactive musical experience for parents and their children. Our curriculum is specifically designed to help young children develop their understanding of musical concepts through active listening and repetition. Students will be introduced to a variety of songs from all over the world and be exposed to various musical instruments. By participating in Music Together®, young students can develop strong musical skills from an early age. Visit the MusicTogether.com site for more information. Visit our Music Together page: www.grossepointemusicacademy.com/music-together/.
Learning to play the piano is an excellent choice for students aged 5 and older. Unlike some instruments, it doesn’t have to be held, which makes it more accessible for younger learners. Students can sit at the piano and have the music positioned directly in front of them, allowing them to focus on playing. Piano lessons can also benefit students who want to learn other instruments, as the piano keyboard and inherent design of the instrument make it easy to produce a beautiful tone. This can be especially rewarding for younger students who are just starting out.
Guitar- Acoustic, Classical, Electric, Bass
We suggest that children start learning guitar at age 7 or older. It’s crucial to begin with a guitar that fits their size correctly, especially if they’re starting young. It’s important not to fall into the trap of thinking a child will “grow into” a guitar, just as we wouldn’t buy adult-sized clothing for a child to grow into. Classical guitars come in different sizes: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, and 4/4. Having a properly sized guitar increases the chances of success for the student. For electric and bass guitars, due to their weight and size, we suggest waiting until students are at least 10 years old to start learning.
At Grosse Pointe Music Academy, we offer singing lessons for students aged 5 and up. For young students, we focus on teaching the basics of singing, including proper breathing and vocal technique. Students aged 12 and up can take more advanced voice lessons that delve deeper into developing their breath control, lung capacity, and other vocal skills. Whether your child is just starting out or looking to take their singing to the next level, we have the right program for them.
The drum set is a great instrument choice for young beginners. It sits on the floor, and the player only needs to hold the drumsticks to play it. The drum set appeals to students of all ages and allows for early success in playing the instrument. We suggest that students start learning the drum set at age 7 or when they are physically capable of reaching the bass drum and hi-hat pedals.
Flute, Saxophone, and Clarinet & Brass Instruments
For woodwind and brass instruments, we recommend that students should be at least 9 years old due to the lung capacity needed to play these instruments properly. This ensures that students can play the instrument comfortably and without experiencing any discomfort or difficulty.
Violin, Viola, and Cello Lessons
The success of stringed instrument learning highly depends on the proper sizing of the instrument. Violin students can start as early as age 3 with the appropriate sized violin. Students interested in viola should generally be 7 years or older due to the larger size of the instrument. For cello, students should be at least 10 years old to ensure proper sizing and technique.
2. Lessons in a professional teaching space
Having music lessons at home may seem convenient, but it can be distracting due to other activities happening in the house. Television, pets, phone calls, and other interruptions can hinder the learning process. At our studio, we strive to create a focused environment that is conducive to learning music. Each studio is equipped with the necessary instruments, books, and resources to motivate and assist students in achieving their musical goals.
3. Professionally written lesson materials
During lessons, our teachers utilize professionally written and widely recognized teaching methods to ensure comprehensive coverage of all aspects of learning an instrument without missing important information. These standard methods also benefit students who may need to change schools or relocate, allowing them to seamlessly continue their musical education. As a convenience to our customers, we also stock and sell method books for all the instruments 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 – Establishing a regular practice schedule can be helpful for students of all ages. Creating a routine time of day can provide structure and help with discipline. Consider setting a specific time each day for practice, such as before or after dinner. Starting the day with practice can also be effective. By practicing earlier in the day, there is a greater chance that additional repetitions can be completed later in the day. Over time, as skill level improves, practicing may become more enjoyable for students.
Repetition rather than number of minutes– Instead of setting a specific time for practice, try setting a goal of how many times you will play a certain piece of music or exercise. For example, instead of practicing for 30 minutes, decide to play a piece of music five times. This approach can make practice feel less daunting and more manageable, and can help students achieve specific goals more quickly.
Reward yourself – Setting practice goals and rewarding oneself or one’s child after achieving them can be a great motivator in learning music. It creates a sense of accomplishment and provides an incentive to continue practicing. Rewards can be something as simple as a favorite snack or a special activity, like going to a movie or playing a favorite game.
5. Make learning music enjoyable
Learning music can be challenging, but it should also be enjoyable. The ultimate goal of playing an instrument or singing is to have fun while doing it! While there are many different aspects to learning music, none of them should feel like a chore. It’s important to keep the element of fun in mind while practicing and to enjoy the process of improving and mastering new skills.