Teach Me Trumpet!

Most of you already know this, but these thoughts are for those parents of music students entering the realm of private study for the first time. Music is an extra-curricular or co-curricular, depending on the participation of the student. I did not have any problem writing the checks for soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, football, tennis, track and wrestling. You know, the kind of checks we write to the schools for our student athletes. I had three kids spanning the years of 1991 to 2015.  I also got the three kids up to 2 years of piano when they were younger, and I  always offered an opportunity for lessons when they hit band, but they really were really busy.

Many parents don’t blink an eye at these expenses, but I run into parents all the time that somehow think that music lessons are a frill, whereas sports participation is not. If you think about it, the two aren’t that different. In music, the coach is actually working one-on-one, which is one heck of a deal. Think of it, your child is the entire focus. From the time they walk into the room, they are getting feedback on everything they do. How they sit, how they hold the instrument, how they take in that first breath, how they…I think you get the picture. I think this really validates the ‘worthwhileness’ of getting your student private instruction.

Specifically, your kiddo is learning how to handle themselves in a professional manner. They are learning the correct way of holding the instrument, which will further advance their technique. They are learning how to breathe and produce a tone that will be the standard for their instrument. Facility of articulation and musicianship will be stressed to aid in the future development of your player. What a foundation to build on!  If every young player had just a few individual blocks of instruction, many bad habits would never get a chance to even get started! This would also be a way for your student to understand if their instrument choice was the best for their natural talents.

I have always believed that a student should have the opportunity to try what they want, to the extent that they know it was a good choice for them. They want to feel good about what they do, and if they have success, they will continue. That is what we want. We being the teachers, we being the parents and we being the kids who want to find a niche where we can find acceptance, happiness and a sense of accomplishment.

So, if you have a student with passion…Feed it. If you have a student with promise, give them a leg up. If you have a student who just likes to play and has buddies that do the same, try a group lesson. You just might start something big.



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