Our kids have a huge selection of after-school activities these days. As a mom, I find myself driving my kids at least ten times in one week to at least 20 different activities. The variety is endless, but time and money are limited, not to mention the toll these activities take on social interactions between kids in the afternoon.
Nevertheless, musical activities are in high demand, mostly because music helps the cognitive and emotional development of the child. There is also the added benefit of learning how to express oneself creatively in front of a large audience. Parents feel proud and excited when they attend their kid’s recital and listen to the fruit of their musical efforts.
Many parents prefer to have musical lessons at home, so that they can have one less activity to drive their kids to. It is more convenient to bring a music teacher home.
Here are some points to help you make an informed decision on whether to teach your kid music at home or send them to a formal program:
1. Formal programs, such as local conservatories, hold themselves to a high standard of teaching. As a parent, you may feel uncomfortable seeing your child putting many hours of practice before a concert and getting emotional about it, not to mention taking a test to continue to the next year. But you must remember that these factors force the teachers to make sure they teach at a high standard as well.
2. Conservatories and schools include in their programs two important parts, which may help beginners and intermediate students:
* Group interactions, such as orchestras and ensembles.
The social interaction during playing music helps keep the level of motivation for playing and practicing. Even for us, adults, it is hard to keep up the motivation when we do things on our own, without the feedback of others.
The theoretic lessons deepens the musical knowledge of the child and expands their cultural horizon’; a great development for every person.
3. All activities are included in the same tuition. There are no unexpected costs.
At the same time, a private music teacher offers some advantages as well:
1. The price of private lessons is often lower and easier to control than the one of a program at a local school. (You pay per lesson.)
2. The atmosphere at home or at the teacher’s house can be friendlier and the emotional connection deeper. The teacher can become part of the family and the kid may feel less threatened and freer than in a formal setting.
3. A private teacher can create a pace suitable for the kid’s personal progress, without having to answer to official standards. The kid gets full attention and there are no tests.
4. A private teacher can teach the kid different kinds of music, according to what the kid likes. There is no official program to follow. This way, the kid can have a deeper emotional and intuitive connection with the music.
5. A private teacher can start a concert in the kid’s home, a less threatening and more intimate setting.
6. At a more advanced stage, you can decide to combine the private lessons with participation in an orchestra or ensemble.
7. And let’s not forget the issue of convenience. Lessons at home or at the teacher’s house, which may be nearby, create a better chance for a consistent schedule, as well as progress.
In any case, when you choose a music teacher, the most crucial factor is the connection between your child and the teacher. I will write more about that next time.
And don’t forget to share your experiences with me and the other readers of the blog!