Frequently Asked Questions About Music Study

♫ How do I know if my child is ready for private music lessons?
There is no specific time at which children are ready for lessons. The ages can vary greatly. Generally speaking, children can begin piano and violin instruction as early as five. Certain disciplines such as voice and woodwinds should be taken up around age ten. In this manner, students will be physically equipped to handle the technical demands of weekly study. In general, students should possess an interest or curiosity in music and the ability maintain focus for 20-30 minutes at a time.

♫ How can I assess the readiness of my child?
As every child is different, you can best assess the readiness of your child with the assistance of a professional educator. BBCM offers a free consultation for all families who are interested in private instruction. In this manner, each family receives an understanding of the teacher’s approach. In addition, one will benefit from the opinion of a professional musician who is trained at handling and working with students of each age/grade.

♫ What are the proper qualifications of a private music teacher?
History teaches us that there is no singular path or training that leads to guaranteed success. In general, a private instructor should hold at least a 4-year degree from an accredited university or college. Many educators also possess a Masters or Doctorate in performance or education. Most qualified teachers are also practicing performers/educators/scholars and are active in the musical disciplines. However, because one-on-one education offers a unique and effective approach to learning on many fronts, time is truly the best harbinger for success. Give your child time to adapt to the new environment and personality of the teacher. If your child is uneasy after two-three months of instruction, consult the teacher!

♫ My child is active in many extra-curricular activities. Will this be a problem?
Maybe. Many students who are dedicated to music are also dedicated to many other activities and academic pursuits. The degree to which students are involved in after-school activities is a personal matter. However, your child will be expected to practice on a daily basis. If frequent activities impede the ability for the student to make significant progress, a teacher will either ask the student to reduce his/her workload or dismiss the student. Lack of daily application in music leads to frustration on the part of the parent, student, and teacher. In addition, one’s failure to devote enough time to musical study is a waste of one’s commitments of time and money. Be sure to discuss your child’s interest with your private instructor.

♫ How long will my child be required to practice?
This question can only be answered by your private teacher. The length and frequency of home application will depend on the student’s experience as well as the nature of his/her assignment and repertoire. Beginning students will benefit from 20/30 minutes several times a week. Intermediate/advanced students will obvious require a greater degree of commitment.

♫ Is there any particular method of instruction that is right for my child?
No. While many time-honored approaches such as Suzuki and Dalcroze may prove beneficial to beginning students, most musicians will benefit from a diversity of topics. In general, one’s private instruction should include the study of many topics, not just the application of single musical scores. BBCM uses a five-part curriculum that provides for the understanding of performance, technique, history, and fundamentals; all of these goals are geared towards developing musical intelligence and not simply music playing.

♫ My child does not want to be a professional musician. Is it still worth the time and money to study with a concert artist/professional or should I seek a different path for instruction?
Countless studies by numerous institutions continue to explore the many benefits of a musical education to those who engage in a variety of disciplines. One should always seek a teacher of the highest qualifications. A truly qualified teacher can diagnose problems and establish a curriculum for each child with a proper degree of insight and experience. In this manner, your time and money is an investment leading toward true appreciation and understanding that will provide a life of enjoyment.

♫ Is it ever too late to start learning a musical instrument?
No.

♫ Are there any contracts involved in acquiring a teacher?
BBCM never asks for contracts from its students.

♫ What is the first step in beginning an instrument?
Give our offices a call at 570.226.7606 to speak with a professional who is here to help you enjoy the most from a life in music by getting started on the right track.