A Message from Dan Summers (Owner / Instructor)
Those of us that play music know that it can be a lifetime of enjoyment; a social activity; and a source of pride and achievement. Numerous studies show it has enormous benefits to the creative, social, intellectual, academic, even physical development of the child. Parents and family are the most important factors in your child's success and enjoyment of music.
What every parent should know:
After 30 years of playing and teaching it has become clear that there is a wrong way to teach music - "showing, instead of teaching". Some may be impressed with the short-term results of playing by ear, or reading tablature or other over-simplified notation systems...but the student is missing the very essence of a music education.
They will not be able to communicate with other musicians, compose their own songs, accompany other musicians, or even learn new songs quickly. In order to approach musical situations confidently you need to know the fundamentals - taught the correct way. All music, from classical to country to heavy rock, incorporates these simple concepts. As your musical tastes change, these fundamentals help you learn and grow as a musician.
So don't be too quick to sign up with the musician who happens to teach as a sideline - teaching requires an entirely different skill-set and temperament. They are different jobs. The best teachers have a compliment of qualifications and experience - teaching, and live performance, in a variety of situations and musical genres - including classical, pop, country, and rock.
What about the internet? Youtube and the internet is an amazing resource...but how do you know the information is correct or appropriate to your level? There are some great instructional materials out there, but much of it is poorly presented and confusing - the material is only as reliable as the person who posted it. In many cases the free stuff is really just a teaser to get you to sign up for a paid program. I will show you how to tell the difference and find useful tutorials and reliable sites.
What Parents Should Do:
Have a set time frame of at least 6 months (preferably 1 year) for your child's commitment.
Provide a quiet place, where the instrument can stay ready to play.
Remain nearby for help and encouragement - if that is what works for the child.
Praise their efforts and recognize even small improvements.
What Parents Should Not Do:
When It's Not Going Well :
Ask your child what they do or don't like about their music program. Talk to the instructor. Is there some aspect of the lessons that be changed (maybe just in the short term) that can rekindle the enthusiasm? Negotiate with your child. What was the initial time commitment? Can they give an honest effort till the end of the school year, or spring break? Keep it positive. If they made an honest effort they deserve recognition for that. Help your child develop a regular practise routine.
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