Are Private Violin Lessons Worth It?
At the Maestro Musicians Academy, a school that serves greater Boston with music lessons and the world wide web with online lessons, we are always looking to serve our clients and prospective clients with a sense of enthusiasm, vigor, and purpose in their music lessons. Why? Because without purpose, life would be meaningless!
Today's topic is is one that our research, deep in the bowels of the underground, has uncovered, and is all about a common question that is asked on Google: "Are Private Violin Lessons Worth It?" If you are asking this question, this article is for you!
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 that their money will be 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:
1. There is a fear that the child will waste time
2. There is a fear that a child is not 'talented'
3. There is a belief that since music is fun and SEEMS easy to play, it should be free
4. There is a misunderstanding on the part of the parent how music lessons work
5. There is a mistaken belief among parents that music is not worth paying for
Let's address each of these topics one at a time, shall we?
There is a 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.
There is a 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!
There is a belief that since music is fun and SEEMS easy to play, it should be free
Sadly, 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 and 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.
There is a misunderstanding on the part of the parent how music lessons work
Many parents who have not had any experience with music do 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!
There is a mistaken belief among parents that music is not worth paying for
This belief comes down to a question about value. Anything that will result in a positive result that impacts the well-being of the next generation is worth paying for. The reasons why music lessons are so important to a child's development are many, but here are just a few:
a. Music lessons teach the discipline of sticking to a project when things get tough
b. Music lessons develop sensitivity to beauty and an appreciation for culture and Western civilization
c. Music lessons give kids an ability to learn communication skills which directly translates into heightened emotional intelligence
d. Music Lessons are mathematical - Kids learn how to divide time into fractions and fill that time with sound in a very precise manner
e. Music lessons integrate both hemispheres of the bran - Children have to be analytical and creative in order to learn any piece of music and play it convincingly.
Thanks and happy fiddling!
Daniel Broniatowski, D.M.A.
Maestro Musicians Academy
Greater Boston and The World Wide Web