How to Choose the Right Lesson Length. 30, 45 or 60 Minute Lessons?
A common question we get when registering new students for music lessons is how long, and how frequent, their lessons should be. While each student is unique, here are a few basic guidelines we suggest following!
We always schedule lessons on a once-a-week basis. Some parents who are new to music worry that one lesson a week isn’t enough, but it is usually just the right amount! This is because unlike other activities, such as group sports, a lot of the work that goes into learning music actually takes place at home. Students use the days in between lessons to practice skills and songs their teachers have introduced during lessons, ideally practicing a little bit each day. Your child’s instructor can give you some great tips on effective ways to practice at home to make the most of each weekly lesson!
When starting to learn a new instrument, we usually suggest beginning with 30 minute lessons. Many beginning students are on the younger side, and it can be challenging for some kids to sit still and focus for longer than half an hour. Even older students usually don’t need lessons longer than 30 minutes – again, most of the work of learning music takes place outside of lessons, especially at a beginning level.
As students grow more advanced, they may want to look at lengthening their lessons, especially if they participate in high-level musical groups or are thinking of pursuing a degree in music. By this point their instructors may be working with them on multiple challenging pieces that can’t all be covered in just 30 minutes. We offer both 45 and 60 minute lessons, both of which are great options for these more advanced students.
We love working with our families and instructors to find a lesson strategy that best fits each student’s individual needs. If you’re unsure about how long your lessons should be, don’t hesitate to reach out – we would love to help you on your musical journey!
The Benefits of Taking Music Lessons
Today’s kids have seemingly endless options for extracurricular activities. Between sports, Scouts, and even just keeping up with homework, it can be hard to imagine throwing private music lessons into the mix! But music lessons have consistently been shown to benefit kids in a multitude of ways. Read on to learn more about why your child should start learning music!
Over the last few decades, neuroscientists have published a wealth of research detailing the incredible effects of music on the brain. These studies have demonstrated that learning to play a musical instrument actually changes the brain’s structure, allowing for dramatic improvement in nearly every cognitive area. Music lessons improve kids’ working memory – that’s the type of memory that lets us remember multiple things at once, which is necessary for tasks like arithmetic and comprehension. Similarly, it increases children’s focus and concentration, since learning an instrument requires patience and attention to detail. Researchers have also shown that learning to play music increases communication between the right and left sides of the brain, which can enhance children’s creativity. Finally, learning an instrument can improve motor skills and coordination – some instruments demand communication between hands and feet, while others require different actions from each hand. In short, music lessons have amazing cognitive benefits that will help kids succeed in many different aspects of life.
Learning to read and play music helps to hone and develop crucial language and mathematical skills. For instance, learning about musical notes, rhythms, beats, and time signatures helps kids with counting, dividing, fractions, and recognizing patterns. Music lessons have also been shown to increase kids’ phonological skills – that is, they learn to read faster and have more expanded vocabularies than kids who haven’t taken music lessons. Learning to play an instrument can even introduce kids to the basics of physical science – the vibrations made by the strings of a violin, guitar, or piano or the different noises made by different sizes of drums can spark conversations about the physics behind music. Finally, learning about different instruments and styles of music helps expose kids to different cultures and traditions, fostering creativity and open-mindedness about countries and communities outside our own.
There is a wealth of evidence showing that students involved in music perform better academically than students who do not. Kids who learn to play an instrument have been demonstrated to have higher grades, higher test scores, and even higher IQs! Therefore, it’s not surprising that schools with strong music programs have higher graduation rates than schools without them – and private music lessons are a great way to supplement school programs as well!
Finally, there are several very important social and emotional benefits to learning music. Music lessons helps to boost kids’ self-esteem by demonstrating how constructive feedback can be used to create positive change. As music students see themselves improving in their lessons, their confidence will grow, and they’ll feel capable of taking on further challenges. As kids grow older and take on increased responsibilities at school and at home, music can be a great source of stress relief, helping them feel calmer and more positive. Finally, learning music helps kids develop social skills and make friends. This is especially true for kids in group classes, like a school band, choir, or orchestra, but even kids who aren’t involved in groups like this benefit socially from learning music. Talking about a favorite song or musical artist creates bonds and friendships between individuals, and a shared interest in music can form connections that will last a lifetime.
With so many positive effects, getting your children involved in music should be an easy decision! Call us today to get started!
So now that you’ve found a music teacher, it’s time to get ready for the first lesson. Like all new activities and situations, it’s common for people to have some anxiety. Young children might be very shy, while older kids and teenagers might be worried about being judged or not doing well in the first class. This is all very common and with a little preparation, you can help ease those first lesson jitters.
Here are 5 tips on how to prepare for your first private music lesson.
1. Get An Instrument
The very first step is to buy or rent an instrument. If you already have an instrument, make sure that it is in good working condition. Getting the piano tuned, fixing your clarinet’s leaky pads or putting new strings on your guitar can go a long way towards making your first lesson a fun and exciting experience.
Check with your teacher or local music store to see if there are any accessories that you will need in addition to your instrument, i.e. string instruments need rosin, woodwinds need reeds etc. For books and sheet music, you can wait until after your have your first lesson before buying anything. Often music teachers prefer to meet new students and assess their learning style before deciding on which method or books would work best.
2. Bring A List Of Questions
Teachers love to answer questions! Make a list of any questions ahead of time so you won’t forget them in all the excitement of the first class.
3. Befriend Your Music Teacher
Try to talk to your music teacher for a few minutes on the phone or better yet, in person if they are available before the first lesson. This is especially important for helping younger children feel comfortable at the first class.
4. Make A List Of Goals
Talk to your child about any songs or styles of music that they might want to learn. It could be anything from the Star Wars theme to an ACDC riff. Even if they won’t be able to play it right away, having a written goal will help your instructor tailor their curriculum to your child’s interests.
5. Have Fun!!!
Most importantly, remember that music lessons are supposed to be FUN! So, try not to put unrealistic expectations on your children. No one becomes a virtuoso overnight. Embrace the process and enjoy the journey!
Does your child show an interest in music? Maybe they love singing along with the radio, or drumming rhythms on the table. Cultivating this love of music will benefit them for a lifetime. Studies have shown that learning to play an instrument can improve memory and concentration, teach patience and discipline, offer a creative and emotional outlet, and even contribute to future academic success.
When it comes to encouraging musical interest in kids, there are three main steps you should take.
- Make Music Important
The first step to cultivating your child’s interest in music is to integrate it into their daily lives. Try playing music in the house or listening to the radio in the car, and expose your kids to different genres, from classical to classic rock! Another great way to spark their interest is to take them to live music events. Many local organizations host family-friendly music events at parks, libraries, and more. Or, try attending a performance at your local high school, such as a musical or a band concert. Seeing what older students have achieved may inspire your children to do the same! Finally, consider taking your kids to a night at the symphony or ballet as a special treat.
Remember that your own enthusiasm for music is key here – if your child sees that music is important to you, it will be important to them as well. You can even take lessons alongside your child as a way to bond over music, and to encourage them when they get frustrated.
- Get an Instrument (or Several)
If you want your child to learn to play an instrument, having one accessible to them at home will help to cultivate an interest. Don’t feel as if you need to invest in a quality instrument just yet – for toddlers and young children, musical toys are more than sufficient to spark musical curiosity. Give your children access to a variety of drums, keyboards, recorders, or even small guitars, and allow them to play, explore, and experiment with a variety of sounds.
Older children will benefit from exploring a variety of instruments too. We recommend starting with piano lessons or children’s choir so that they learn to read music and have a strong musical background by the time they are old enough to join their school’s band or orchestra. Most school programs encourage students to try out different instruments. You can also try visiting your local music shop with your child. Ask the employees there to demonstrate different instruments to see which ones excite your child the most!
- Think Long Term
One of the best parts about a musical education is that it never truly stops – there is always more to learn and explore! With that in mind, you’ll need to think about long term musical goals for your children as well as short term. This means investing in music classes and private lessons, both to further their technique and to expose them to instructors and peers who share their passion for music!
It’s also important to sustain an ongoing interest in music, which means encouraging your kids when they get frustrated and not letting them give up when things get challenging. At the same time, however, being too forceful can be detrimental. Just because your child is learning music doesn’t mean they can’t explore other interests simultaneously, such as sports and other extracurriculars. Even if your child ends up focusing on a different activity as they grow, they will always be grateful for their exposure to music!
If you’re trying to encourage your child’s love of music, consider these three steps, and call the Powell Academy of Music. Our instructors are here to help show your child how amazing music can be, as well as all the benefits that come with learning to play an instrument. Call us today!
Every parent wants to put their child in the best position to succeed. In music, this means including private music lessons into your child’s practice and learning. There are many differences between group and 1-on-1 classes that can help expand abilities quickly and lead to better instrument mastery. Here are the top three reasons private music lessons are beneficial for your child learning to play an instrument.
That’s right, the privacy of a 1-on-1 lesson is extremely beneficial to your child’s learning. The instructor is without distraction and can watch and listen to your child carefully, picking up on every trouble spot. This allows the instructor to fine tune the lessons to improve your child’s playing.
The privacy of 1-on-1 instruction also allows the instructor more time to delve into music theory and help improve additional abilities like sight reading. This can lead to opportunities for composing music—a skill not often taught in group classes.
In group lessons, kids perform drills or repeat sections of music to practice a particular fingering or breathing technique. Since the class can only move on once each student has learned the skill, your quick learner may progress more slowly through the curriculum. On the other hand, instructors may need to move forward with the class before your child has truly mastered the technique or skill.
Private lessons allow for a personalized pacing to learning. More lesson time may be spent on practicing a certain trouble section and the parts your child plays well may only be reviewed a couple of times. Your child is in full control of the pacing of their lessons and the advancement of their overall progress toward mastery.
Not only does your child control the pacing of the lessons, they also control the curriculum. Practice time during lessons is spent on the exact things your child needs to work on. They will also receive a personal lesson plan for at-home practice that further enhances their skills and works directly on their trouble spots.
Private lessons also motivate students to practice at home more. Why? Because there is no hiding their lack of progress in the group. Being the only person at a private lesson puts them “on the spot.” Instructors act as accountability partners, encouraging your child to improve through regular practice.
Private lessons have many benefits, but it is true that some kids thrive better in group settings. Children who are extremely social or who thrive on the friendly competition between peers are well suited for group lessons.
However, to truly advance musical ability, private lessons are invaluable. If your child is just starting out or perhaps has been in a group setting for a while now, it’s time for private music lessons. Call the Powell Music Academy today to schedule your child’s first lesson or use our handy online registration for booking. See you soon!
Whenever kids are learning a new activity or skill, it’s common for them to hit some roadblocks along the way. Learning to play the piano comes along with its own set of challenges, but they can be overcome! Below are our suggestions for how to help your children leap over three common obstacles in piano lessons, and to improve their skills as students and musicians.
Attitude is an incredibly important part of learning, and it’s no exaggeration to say that a positive mindset can be the difference between failure and success. It’s not uncommon for piano students to lose confidence from time to time, whether due to a specific instance, like a poor performance, or to ongoing frustrations from lack of improvement. Kids might also compare their piano playing to that of more advanced students, which can lead to further discouragement.
If you notice your young pianist is developing a negative or unhealthy mindset, you can help to build up their confidence and determination. It might help to remind them of all the progress they’ve already made since they first began private lessons. For instance, if a performance didn’t go as well as they had hoped, remind them that there was a time that they couldn’t imagine being skilled enough to even perform in the first place! You can also remind them that even the most advanced pianists were once at their level, and that they had to overcome similar challenges (one example is Vladimir Horowitz, who overcame years of intense stage fright to become one of the greatest concert pianists in history!). Remind them that setbacks are only temporary, and soon your piano student will have their confidence back!
Practice is perhaps the biggest obstacle kids face in learning to play piano. Kids today are busy, and it can be hard to find the time to practice piano while in the middle of homework and other activities. More often, though, there is simply a lack of motivation to practice. Without adequate focus or clear goals, practice time is frustrating and unproductive. However, it is impossible to become a skilled pianist without practice, so it’s important to have a plan to overcome these obstacles!
Practicing piano effectively is all about creating a routine. Schedule a regular time for your kids to practice piano – you might even try writing it on the family calendar! Set a specific amount of time for each practice session – knowing they only need to practice for twenty minutes can help kids feel less pressure, and can help them learn to manage the time effectively.
Motivation is also key in practicing piano. Try creating a system of rewards – for instance, ten extra minutes of video games for each half hour of focused piano practice. You can also set longer-term goals, such as a trip to the movies for mastering a song or performing in a recital.
The best way for a child to learn piano is through lessons, however, not every teaching method works for every student. If your student feels stuck, talk to their music teacher about switching up the structure of their lessons, whether that means using a different curriculum or letting the student choose music that interests them, like pop or Broadway songs. Motivational programs, such as the Powell Academy of Music’s Level Up program, can be very helpful in inspiring students to progress in their lessons by presenting them with clear goals and rewards. Finally, some piano students simply will work better with one instructor than another. Most piano instructors understand this and can help refer you to another teacher if need be!
Every new piano player, especially kids, will experience some or all of these obstacles during
their musical journey, and overcoming them will take decisive effort and patience, from students and parents. Remember that support and encouragement through lessons and practice can go a long way toward getting your young piano player to love their instrument!
Inside this Issue:
- From the Director, Why Take Music Lessons
- Welcome New Students!
- Referral Contest
Why Take Music Lessons?
What if I told you that there was a way to make your child smarter, more engaged in school, more creative, confident, happier, harder working and a more well-rounded and successful individuals?
What if I told you that there was one extracurricular activity that drastically outperformed sports, dance, art, drama and martial arts AND there were hundreds upon hundreds of scientific studies that proved all of this to be true? Most importantly, learning it is a whole lot of fun! When it comes to choosing activities for your children, music instruction is the best thing you can do for your kids!
Music develops creativity. Children are so naturally creative when they are young. Every parent remembers the endless crayon drawings that took over the refrigerator when their kids were little, or the hours of make believe and stories.
When kids are very young, they don’t see things for what they are, they see them for what they could be. As children get older a lot of this creativity gets lost. Many child psychologists believe that we have fundamentally changed the way we educate our children to the detriment of fostering their creativity.
So often, kids spend the majority of their time in school memorizing and analyzing information. Learning to produce the “correct” answers and being punished or getting things “wrong.” This approach is great for producing high test scores in math and literacy but it hinders children’s ability to take chances and be creative.
One of the best ways to foster creativity is to nurture and develop an environment where students know it is ok to make mistakes. So much in music is subjective and there aren’t any right or wrong answers. Students are encouraged to take chances, create their own sounds, improvise and write songs. Music lessons can be a safe place where children are able to explore ideas. It’s the perfect environment for developing creativity to the fullest.
Please welcome the NEW students who enrolled in May!!!
Inside this Issue:
- Now Offering Kindermusik Classes!
- Red Carpet Recital Photos Are In!
We are very excited to announce that we are now offering Kindermusik classes at both our Powell and Lewis Center locations!!!. These classes are a great way for younger children (ages 0-4) to develop music fundamentals. Each class is developmentally appropriate for each age group and we have small class sizes. For more information you can check out our website where we have demo videos and summaries of each class. PAM classes are available on Mondays and LCMA classes are available on Thursdays.
Sign & Play: Ages 1-2 9:00am
Wiggle & Grow: Ages 2-3 10:00am
Cuddle & Bounce: Ages 0-1 11:00am
Laugh & Learn: Ages 3-4 1:00pm
Please welcome the NEW students who enrolled in July!!!
Inside this Issue:
- 2nd Location Opens In Lewis Center
- Student of the Month
- Lion King!
- Treble in Paradise
2nd Location Opens in Lewis Center June 5th!
With our 1st location getting closer and closer to full capacity we have decided to open a 2nd location in Lewis Center!!! The Lewis Center location will be called the Lewis Center Music Academy and is located in the Olentangy Crossing shopping center next to Krogers on route 23. We are very excited and think that the Lewis Center School might grow even faster than our Powell location did. The new facility is about half the size of our Powell store however it should still be able to accommodate around 500 students! We are enrolling students now for lessons starting in June and then we will have our grand opening in August of 2017.
Student of the Month – Eamont Montufar
A: Piano, singing
Q: How long have you taken lessons?
A: Since last summer
Q: Who are your favorite musical artists?
A: Justin Timberlake
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Mac and cheese
Q: What is the coolest thing you’ve learned in your lessons in the past three months?
A: Warm ups!
Please welcome the NEW students who enrolled in May!!!