First and foremost, parents should approach music lessons with the goal of their child building character first and then competency. What we mean, is that regardless of how good the child becomes at playing their instrument, the goal with lessons should be to provide the child the opportunity to gain the many experiences beyond the music that learning an instrument has to offer. Participating in music provides undeniable social, emotional and even physical benefits such as helping children relieve anxieties, overcome shyness, learn to accept and implement constructive criticism, develop a work ethic, enhance learning abilities,and instill a sense of self-confidence and much more. While proficiency and constant progress is very important, we encourage our parents look beyond and identify what other crucial life lessons are being learned through participating in music lessons.
Orff Schulwerk is an approach to teaching music that inspires total, active involvement in music making incorporating speech, singing, movement, instrument playing, drama, improvisation and composition to engage the imagination in a playful and creative environment. It develops the whole child with a balance of emotional and intellectual stimulation.
Kodály is an experience-based approach to teaching basic musical performance skills and music literacy through folk songs, chants, and singing games. The method uses solfege as one of its main tools to develop the inner ear.
The Dalcroze approach teaches an understanding of fundamental music concepts, expressive meanings, and deep connections to other arts and activities through rhythmic movement, aural training, and improvisation.
The excitement of a new adventure is enough to provide an ample supply of positive motivation for the first several weeks of the instrumental music experience. Once the initial enthusiasm wears off, it is important to immediately develop wholesome practice habits and learn these practice tips for music students which will guarantee a successful and personally gratifying process for your child. Parent or guardian support and guidance will be the key factors in establishing the practice schedule insuring the attainment of musical goals.
For our elementary school players, we like to see three or four days per week of home music practice – even if just a few minutes. The first year is “exploratory” and our goal is to instill a love for music. We encourage students to play at home for their parents. Practice is encouraged but not heavily stressed.
For the middle school players, the most effective practice tips for music students is based on a fifteen minute home practice session four to five times per week dedicated to quality practice. It is suggested that the instructor and their young musician mutually agree on a practice time, and a specific set of reasonable goals, both long term and short to be accomplished over the span of taking lessons. A final one or two minute recital at the end of a lesson or practice session is always effective in building performance responsibilities.