Congratulations on your decision to take music lessons! Here are a few tips from an “old” music teacher so you get the most out of them.
At Courtnay and Rowe, we’ve been teaching adults and children in their homes for 30+ years. We have a creative approach and engaging teachers who know how to bring out your best. Here are some tips for making the most of your experience!
1. As you progress into your lessons, keep in mind that learning music really is great for your brain. It makes you feel good too.
As an adult, music lessons assist with continued mental acuity, and can be such a wonderful, creative and emotional outlet – but only if you don’t beat yourself up about how fast your progress should be. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you probably aren’t going to be Billy Joel in three months either, but we can work towards it! This leads me to number two…
2. If you aren’t going to take music lessons consistently or for only a few months at a time, please don’t. Wait until you can commit at least one year to see progress.
It’s super hard to gain momentum and progress when you take sporadically, and that’s no recipe for success. Please just wait until you have some time to commit versus becoming another music lesson casualty. You wouldn’t expect to get good at golf or tennis playing regularly for a few months, and then not again for six months, right? Find a day and time that works with your schedule weekly, with minimal interruption. Trust me, you’ll appreciate the time and effort you put into this for yourself.
3. Choose the right instrument.
Whatever instrument turns you on, then that’s the one to choose. It’s ok to try a few before deciding on one if you are not sure! It’s important for you to really like your instrument of choice, and your teacher, which leads to number four:
4. Make sure you have the right teacher.
We all have fond memories of our favorite teachers, and our staff and teachers know how important it is to get this right and have the same goal in mind. If you are not with the right teacher, you’ll know it, and no worries, we can change teachers until you are happy. We all want the student to be a success on their musical journey!.
5. Don’t put yourself in the basement.
Make sure your music area is set up in a part of your house you love being in. Because, P.S., unless your basement is a sanctuary, you aren’t going down there often enough. Make a happy music area with good light, somewhere you pass by often to encourage your playing, but also where you can concentrate.
6. Don’t beat yourself up that you didn’t get to practice much this week. And I promise, we won’t shame you at your lesson.
Life happens, and we are here for the fun of music, so no sweat. We, as teachers, will work very hard to find pieces that you will love to play, and encourage you to play those pieces as often as life allows. Sometimes that may be 5 minutes, or it could be 30, and playing time will grow as you do as a musician. But don’t worry if you were busy last week– we can work on the song in your lesson.
7. You know you secretly want to perform. Even while sitting in the audience.
We know it’s scary to put yourself out there, but we also know once you perform at an Adult recital and receive love from the other adult students, well, you’ll want to do it again. Who doesn’t want a little recognition and appreciation for their efforts? We encourage adult participation at our Adult open mic nights, Adult recitals, and any fun outside performances that have a loving, non-judgmental audience. We are here to see you shine and help your confidence! And hey, if nothing else, you can at least come for the adult beverages and great appetizers … and be an awesome audience.
8. At some point you may want to quit. Music lessons are really fun, but not always easy. Please don’t quit on yourself as you really can do this, if given some time.
Ask any teacher, and the truth is the moment you want to quit is usually about the time that with a little extra working through the difficulty, you make amazing progress. The “wall” can come anywhere from 6 months to 1 year, but please, don’t quit on yourself and stick through it. It will pay off – it just takes a minute to learn a new language and get your head wrapped around the concepts.
Both children and adults come up against the “wall” at one time or another. A post we wrote for parents wanting to help their children through that time might be worth a read for you. A wall is a wall, no matter your age.
9. Hard work beats natural talent every time, and that’s a great life hack to know.
Sort of a spin-off on the tortoise and the hare. Sure, there are some folks who can pick up an instrument and sound decent immediately. They are naturally talented, but they will only go so far if they do not have proper training. On the other hand, students who are not as musically inclined can still be successful if they work hard to learn each musical challenge they encounter. With the right teacher, learning to play a musical instrument is accessible to everyone. When practiced and studied correctly, learning to play a musical instrument is something ALL students (no matter your age) can find success in.
I hope you’ve found this helpful! If you have any comments or questions, just let me or any of the staff know! We’re so happy to help you succeed on your musical journey.