The Right Music Teacher Makes All The Difference
For a child, the benefits of a musical education are wide-ranging and long-lasting; and as a parent, there’s no greater pleasure than watching a child excel at something they enjoy.
Perhaps you wish to foster your child’s interest in a particular instrument, or simply to encourage their love of music. Either way, the right teacher can make all the difference to your child. A music teacher doesn’t just guide your child’s education; they also serve as a mentor, motivator, and cheerleader! As a parent, you will continue to be your child’s primary emotional support system.
When partnered with the right music teacher, you can help turn your child’s passion into a satisfying, lifelong relationship with music!
Key Considerations Before Choosing A Teacher
The introduction of music into a child’s life can boost their confidence, stimulate their imagination, and improve their academic success. However, before committing to private lessons, it pays off to think about what kind of instruction would best suit your child. When evaluating potential teachers or studios, first consider your child’s personality as well as their long-term goals.
- Your child’s temperament (and interest) -You know your child best. If your child enjoys spending time with their teacher, they’ll be more excited to learn! Consider how your child usually interacts with new adults. Some children may be nervous about making mistakes,so it’s essential that their teachers be patient. Other children might benefit from the structure of a gently authoritative approach..
The teacher/student relationship be mutually respectful. A teacher’s age or gender should not necessarily be vital factors in your choice—the important thing is that your child connects with them!>
- Your child’s age (and attention span) -he ability to focus and follow instructions comes at a different age for every child. Some music studios will have age restrictions for lessons—if not, it’s up to you to evaluate your child’s readiness. Your child’s age will also affect the length of their lessons, since longer sessions may seem tedious to an active preschooler, making them less inclined to move forward. If your child is in kindergarten, a teacher who primarily works with teens might not be the best fit! Finally, consider the teaching environment. Young children are often more comfortable in a relaxed, friendly teaching environment, whereas older teens may benefit from a more structured atmosphere. Dance can be a great way to introduce children under five years of age to music! Little ones love to move their bodies, and some preschoolers find it challenging to sit through a private lesson at this age. By letting them bounce, wiggle, and hop, you’re bringing music into their lives in a non-intimidating, natural way!. Ideally, look for a class that combines dance with a variety of musical styles. By choosing a teacher who avoids focusing on one style of dance (e.g. ballet or jazz), you’ll help your child discover their love of music in tandem with their love of movement. This will also help you determine which kind of instruction will best suit your child moving forward. After all, music and dance indeed are child’s play! By saving structured teaching sessions for later, you’ll let your child’s first experience of music be a truly joyful one.
Music cultivates motor and coordination skills
- Your schedule (and your child’s) -Home practice is an essential part of learning to play an instrument. Consider whether you’re able to help your child practice outside of class time. Your experience level will come into play here since you’ll naturally be more able to help if you have musical training yourself. However, don’t let this affect your enthusiasm for your child’s musical education! If you have limited time or limited experience, communicate this to potential teachers. Make sure that teachers have some flexibility with their scheduling so that you can add classes if necessary. More frequent classes will help compensate for reduced practice sessions, and they will help your child feel supported while preparing for examinations or recitals. As your child’s love of music grows there may be more demands on their time, so be realistic about your ability to drive them to lessons and performances, and make sure your child’s teacher understands your family’s lifestyle.
- The teacher’s certification – Are you interested in having someone guide your child through the Royal Conservatory examination process? While examinations are not essential, for some,they can be powerful motivators. The feeling of accomplishment that follows a successful exam can help propel and inspire kids through another year of learning. By passing piano exams, teens can even earn high school credits! Although the Royal Conservatoryis located in Toronto, there are exam centers are all over Canada. If this is important to you, be sure to look for an experienced teacher with knowledge of the RCM examination process.
- Recitals -As with exams, music recitals allow children to feel proud of their accomplishments. While parents aren’t permitted to attend Royal Conservatory examinations, a recital lets the whole family in on the fun! However, if your child is particularly young or shy, or if they’re generally uncomfortable with performing, consider whether it’s necessary to participate in recitals. You should have the ability to “opt out” if so desired, especially when children are just beginning their lessons.
Choosing A Teacher
Don’t rush into a choice, since the right individual can have a considerable impact. You have a lot of resources available to you to help you and your child make the right choice.
- Ask your friends & family -Your friends and family are an invaluable resource when it comes to your child’s education. Taking into account your schedule and your child’s temperament, reach out to others with similarly-aged children. While other parents will likely be your first resource (particularly if they know your child), it’s also helpful to chat with musicians about their musical upbringing. If you didn’t take music lessons as a child, it’s beneficial to learn what worked (and what didn’t) for others! So much depends on the student-teacher relationship, so listening to other accounts will help you accurately assess your own child’s needs.
- What is their experience When looking at music studios or individual instructors, you should be able to access their resume or biography. Since children need to be taught differently depending on their age and ability level, look for instructors with experience teaching within your child’s age range. Experience in a school environment is also helpful. For many teachers, private lessons are just one part of their schedule as educators. Some private instructors lead group sessions and “glee clubs” and may even teach a variety of instruments (at a variety of locations). All of this experience is valuable, and a diverse resume is a sign that a teacher loves what they do! Look for performance experience as well; sometimes, a slim teaching resume is balanced out by a performing career. If a teacher is also performing, it suggests that they’re a lifelong music lover, which will help inspire your child’s love of music!
- Take a trial class -Remember, finding the perfect music teacher isn’t just about qualifications and recommendations; sometimes, the best teacher is whomever your child feels comfortable with. Studies show that children are more motivated to learn when they look up to their instructor, and when they feel an emotional connection to them. To continue learning, children need to know that mistakes are allowed and that it’s ok to ask questions. A trial class enables you to assess the potential of a particular student-teacher relationship, without the financial commitment of regular lessons. After the class, be sure to check in with your child to get a sense of how the teacher works, which will let you know what to expect as the relationship develops.
If you’re on the fence about a particular studio or instructor, don’t forget to factor in your child’s opinion and preferences. To avoid power struggles down the road, take time to make the right choice for your family today!
If you have questions about your child’s music education, call (416) 527-3769 Ext.1 or request info about music lessons and get your FREE trial lesson. With a wide variety of DeGazon Music classes in Bolton, Kleinburg and Mississauga, our experienced teachers are happy to help nurture your child’s love of music.
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