When it comes time to select a music teacher, you will need to consider whether you’d rather have your child take in-home lessons or lessons at a music academy.
There are numerous benefits in enrolling your student an academy. One of the primary advantages is that your child will be surrounded by other excited students, which works as a valuable source of inspiration for young learners.
Additionally, your child will benefit from hearing other instruments and having the opportunity to touch, hold, and feel other instruments. Inspiration and sensory stimulation in the form of touch, sight, and sound are positive factors that promote a child’s development. Students who take lessons at home won’t be able to see other children at various skill levels practicing. If they don’t have exposure to other students, they cannot be inspired to improve their abilities by watching others excel at playing their chosen instruments.
We encourage students who are homeschooled to attend a music academy so that they can have the opportunity to be influenced positively by their peers. Children who are homeschooled often have a more flexible schedule and they can take their lessons during the midday lunch hours while other students are at school.
It is important to select an academy that places emphasis on recitals. At our academy, we have recitals every six months where students are able to perform in front of other students and their families. We have numerous achievement programs, including the Musical Ladder System® (which will be discussed in greater detail in this guide). The music achievement program allows students to earn wristbands and trophies for their successes during recitals. This type of positive recognition of hard work boosts a student’s self-esteem and encourages other students to work harder and accomplish even more.
The experience of learning to play an instrument is often collaborative. When you are starting a new workout regimen, it’s much easier to be motivated at a gym where you’re surrounded by other people working hard rather than working out at home. In music schools, the experience of being in an environment with other musicians can enrich a student’s experience and deepen their appreciation for their own instrument.
As mentioned in the earlier chapters, do your vetting before selecting a music school. Be sure to ask the school some of the following questions to get a better idea of how they manage and what they value:
How many years have you been in business?
Are you the largest school in the area?
Do you offer a variety of instrument options for students?
Do you have office staff present at all times for every lesson?
Do you have a family safety plan in place?
Do you offer recitals and are there recital fees?
Do you have incentivizing achievement programs?
Once you have asked these questions and have gotten the answers you need, you will be able to select the right school for your child.
We ask that students fill out a questionnaire before their first lesson so that the teacher can get a general idea of what the student wants to accomplish.
When choosing an academy, be sure to choose one that has multiple teachers for multiple instruments. This way if you start with a particular teacher, and it isn’t a perfect fit, you can transition to another teacher without leaving the academy.
Chemistry between a child and a teacher will develop over time as the child grows. A student may have an excellent relationship with their current teacher and then one day have a substitute and realize they like that person even better.
The sign of a good teacher is one who keeps the parents in the loop and continually communicates a student’s struggles, progresses, and development.
Before selecting a teacher, be sure to ask the important questions, take a tour of the facility, and choose the person who best reflects your own philosophy on learning.