Benefits of Private Lessons
Private lessons can be a tremendous influence on a young person’s self-esteem, development of discipline, and understanding of commitment. By understanding all that is involved with private lessons before you enroll your child, you can help ensure that your child will derive the maximum benefit from the experience.
No matter how dedicated and knowledgeable your child’s band or orchestra teacher is, he/she is usually responsible for a large number of students and simply cannot give much individualized attention to your child. For this reason, many students choose to take private lessons to supplement their school music experience. A private teacher who specializes in teaching the instrument your child plays will be able to work with you and your child to design a course of study that best suits your child’s learning style and musical interests.
Although it is quite common for middle and high school students to take private lessons, you should consider several factors before you enroll your child:
First, be certain that your child is really interested in taking private lessons! If not, the experience is likely to be negative for all involved.
Second, talk with your child about his/her musical interests and reasons for wanting to take private lessons. Students may want to take private lessons because:
they are ahead of the class and want to continue to be challenged
they are behind the rest of the class and want extra help to catch-up
they want to learn specific techniques and/or styles of music not taught in school (e.g. jazz improvisation)
they simply want additional help with their school band/orchestra music
they want to audition for youth orchestras, participate in music festivals, and/or enter competitions
they want to continue their musical study over the summer
Third, make sure that both you and your child are able and willing to make a commitment to private lessons. Regular attendance at lessons and careful home practice are absolutely necessary for success. Be certain that you, your child, and the private teacher discuss expectations before you begin the first lesson.
Fourth, make sure that the teacher is qualified. Your school music teacher should be able to recommend several qualified teachers. By asking your school music teacher for a recommendation, you are more likely to find a private teacher whose teaching methods and expectations are compatible with what your child is learning in school, thereby increasing your child’s chances for success.
Fifth, consider the cost of lessons. There are many levels of private teachers, and the price range will vary accordingly. However, $20.00 per weekly half-hour lesson is about average. Always try to find the most qualified teacher that you can afford.
A good teacher will customize lesson material and speed of progress, not only by the student’s abilities, but also by the student’s interests and goals. Be certain to mention these interests and goals to the prospective teacher when you contact them, as some teachers specialize in certain types of music and/or prefer to teach students of only certain ages or ability levels.
The PDF document below is an abridged summary of the benefits of private lessons.
Contact Mr. Stevenson at JRSteve@carrollk12.org for local private teacher recommendations.