If you’re anything like the rest of us crazy parents, you want the best for your child. And that means providing every opportunity for them to develop into the little musician you know they can be. Perhaps a tutor can harness their energy and help to bring out their maximum potential Music Lessons. The question is, how do you know when it’s the right time to enroll your kiddo in music lessons?
Believe me, this is a question I have been asking myself, since my son was born. He’s two now and LOVES anything to do with music. Recently, we got a Musician’s Friend catalog in the mail, filled with all kinds on instruments. He quickly laid claim to it and has been carting it everywhere. Car rides have never been so peaceful!
With this unaltered affection for music, especially the drums, I think my son could be amazing and possibly even have a future in the music industry. The problem I have is that I don’t want to squash this desire nor do I want to push him too hard, only to send him running for the hills. Can you relate? Here’s the criteria I use to determine readiness for music lessons with a private instructor.
- Is there a specific instrument my child is gravitating towards?
If your answer is yes, then you will want to look for a tutor who specializes in this area. For example, although my son loves the guitar and keyboards as well, he clearly spends more time with the drums or any makes shift set of kitchen utensils and bowls he can get his hands on.
- What age does my local private instructor recommend?
Find out what your local instructor recommends. More importantly, look for an instructor with plenty of experience tutoring children who are the same age as your child. Handling a three-year old on the drums vs. a six-year old is a huge difference.
- Does my child have the attention span to sustain a 30-45 minute lesson?
This can be a tricky question to answer. Here’s why. My son will play the drums for a much longer period of time if he has a captive audience. Yes, he likes to show off. Without an audience the actual drum set doesn’t get as much play… he’s just as happy to pull out the pots and pans while I’m cooking. Why haven’t I invested in some earplugs?
With an instructor, you have a built in audience and someone new that they will probably listen more attentively to. So, when answering this question take these factors into consideration.
- Are my child’s motor skills advanced enough for this instrument?
I have no doubt that my son will play more than one instrument over the course of his lifetime. But, right now he is really only coordinated enough to play the drums. He still has trouble using a fork or spoon consistently, so the fine motor skills necessary for say, the guitar are definitely not there yet.
- Can I make the commitment necessary for my child to succeed with private music lessons?
Finally, and perhaps most important of all, you must consider the commitment required of a parent who enrolls their child in private music lessons. Have you thought about where this will fit into your weekly schedule? How you will encourage and track practice time? Who will transport your child and/or be present while the tutor is working with your little one? How long will you stick with it when your child still seems to be making ‘noise’?
Private music lessons can be more rewarding for you and your child than you ever thought possible. The best approach is to do your homework. Talk to other parents about their experiences. This way you can be realistic about what to expect. Also, talk to the tutor about how your child is progressing. It might seem to you like your child is not progressing or even paying attention during lessons. But any tutor worth his/her salt can tell whether their student is going to progress or not.
Above all, maintain a positive and encouraging attitude with your little musician. Take them to musical events and show them what is possible with practice and time. Set expectations for practice and follow through right up front, before even the first lesson. Review expectations frequently, but keep it positive and fun at all times. And, never hesitate to invite the grandparents over for a little impromptu concert.