As the fall season gets under way and students begin lining the hallways of their schools once again, the sounds of the school band and music ensembles will fill the air. Instrument cases will open and some dust may be brushed away from a summer spent locked away.
As the students push through the squeaks and fumble past a few mistakes here and there while warming up, the rust will get knocked off quickly and high school bands and school orchestras across the country will start to make music once again.
School band and orchestra are an incredible way to include music in a young student’s life, while building creative, organizational, discipline, and leadership skills. But simply taking part in the organized activity isn’t often enough. Private music lessons are a great option to get the most out of this extra curricular activity and help kids reach higher goals.
What are some of the benefits of private music lessons?
The list of benefits is almost endless. In addition to things like improved academic skills, confidence, and increased mental processing speeds, being in band is a great social activity that helps make friends and find like-minded students who share a love of the arts.
All students will have a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses. In a group setting it’s challenging for a band director to not only identify each with every participant, but spend the needed time with each student honing those skills and working on those problem areas. The curriculum isn’t tailored to any individual but rather to a group of various instruments.
A private music teacher can filter out unnecessary distractions and focus with the student on their specific task, repertoire, and goals. In private lessons, the lesson content can be filtered to address exactly what the individual student needs with a tailored lesson plan by a teacher who specializes in that instrument. Feedback is instant, and the focus is on that one singular student, not a group of multiple dozen students. This way, students can correct minor mistakes or bad habits before they become too difficult to correct.
Further, scheduling flexibility is a major convenience. Kids are often involved in many activities, so getting help can often mean juggling a schedule. One of the benefits of private music lessons is not having to be subject to the will of a group. Parents can choose when they would like to schedule lessons, leading to a very pleasant experience.
How does playing in a band help students?
From a performance perspective, playing in a group or ensemble is an invaluable tool to improve. We do not play music in a vacuum. Music is a means of communication and learning music includes learning exceptional communication skills like listening, phrasing, articulation, dynamics, meter, and space. It’s difficult to master these things when playing music alone.
Practicing or performing with others gives students the opportunity to learn in context in real time. Listening skills are best put to the test when there is actually something to listen to. Making real-time adjustments in performance to contribute to a positive group sound can only be done by actually playing with peers.
Additionally, the motivation of playing in a group helps students stay on task. Knowing they are responsible for certain parts or sections that will contribute to the overall band sound is an effective way to motivate kids to practice their material so they don’t disappoint their bandmates.
Should I provide private music lessons for my child who is in a school band?
Yes! Instrument lessons can be incredibly helpful to the development of a child’s skills. Private music lessons offer benefits that will be difficult to achieve in the band setting, and vice versa. The benefits students get from sitting in a band or orchestra offer some distinction from that which they can get in a private lesson.
A private music teacher will be able to work with your child on the very specific skills needed for their instrument, from embouchure and posture, to technique, sight-reading and more. In a similar way that a math tutor may help a student in math class, a private instructor will be able to work with a student to prepare them for their ensemble work. The key difference is that a child learning an instrument will have a very different set of skills to learn than their classmate (or bandmate) for the same piece of music!
How hard is it to find a private music teacher?
Finding a music teacher seems easy enough, but what many parents may not realize is that it’s extremely important to find the right music teacher for their child for a number of reasons. A bad experience with a bad teacher could potentially turn a child off of music for good. Conversely, a great teacher who can bring enthusiasm and energy to each lesson can not only help inspire the child but motivate them to greater heights, in addition to building a strong lifelong passion for music and the arts.
Forbes Music makes this easy and fosters the love, appreciation, and enjoyment of music through fun, in-home and online music lessons that develop skills, build confidence, and promote happiness. Working with teachers who bring joy, passion, and enthusiasm to every lesson is what has helped Forbes Music build the sterling reputation they have today.