Many parents who are looking for music lessons are worried about the cost of music education. They are concerned that after spending hard-earned dollars, the result will be that their money was wasted. Although every family's situation is unique and every child is different, we will examine some of the more common reasons for this fear and insecurity below:
Let's address each of these topics one at a time, shall we?
1. The fear that a child will waste time
Most children are ready for violin lessons between the ages of 5-7. Some are ready before. If your child is able to focus for a 30 minute private lesson and show respect for an instructor, he or she is ready! Are you worried about whether or not your son or daughter will practice at home? Don't, because if the teacher is clear in his or her expectations and the child is engaged by the teacher, over the course of the first year, a practice routine will be developed. Yes, some parents need to be involved to supervise or help a child's practicing at home, but it takes time to develop good habits, whether practicing the violin or doing math homework.
2. The fear that the child is not 'talented'
Violin has a rap for being a hard instrument - and it is. Yet, a good teacher knows how to simplify the technique so that from the very first lesson, a child is making music - even if just by plucking one note on the instrument! Talent, although partially a product of natural inborn ability, is not an accident. At Maestro Musicians, we believe that talent has to be cultivated and developed - it doesn't just happen. If your child is enjoying lessons, likes to listen to music and/or sing at home, that's the only pre-requisite!
3. The belief that since music is fun and seems easy to play, it should be free
Sadly, at my academy we have had countless (usually teenage) individuals approach us, thinking that music lessons are a free service. For whatever reason, our society often takes music for granted, and music is seen as a service that is donated to the community. Perhaps it is because so many schools in major metropolitan areas offer after-school programs or perhaps it is because music organizations are often seen as a non-profit activity. Regardless, the life of a starving artist is not glamorous -- for the benefit of your own child, you do not want a starving artist teaching him or her! In fact, the more the arts are supported, the better the quality of education and value your child will receive. This is directly translatable to the well-being of your child and general artistic, cultural, and yes, even academic development.
4. A misunderstanding on the part of the parent about how music lessons work
If parents have not had any experience with learning instrumental music, they may not understand that it takes time and repeated technical work to learn an instrument. Much like an athlete has to practice running, basketball, or pitching technique, a musician has to develop crucial skills to produce a unique sound, the ability to play in tune, and ease and efficiency in playing complex pieces of music. Like sports, music has the power to be a lifelong pursuit, and your child's ability to learn the crucial skills of constant self-improvement can be taught through music lessons.
5. The mistaken belief that music is not worth paying for
Music lessons are profoundly valuable. They create a positive result that impacts the well-being of the next generation. Having regular access to someone with both the time and expertise to develop these skills requires paying for that time and expertise.
The reasons why music lessons are so important to a child's development are many, but here are just a few:
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