Q: Are there benefits in
taking myself or my children to your music school instead of having lessons in our home?
Yes! In general, those who take lessons at a music school are
more motivated to continue in music:
- It's a professional learning environment. The studios are
private. There is no distraction from TV, ringing phones,
dishwashers, pets, other
household members and visitors.
- Choose from a selection of teachers, not just the
private teachers who are willing to come to your home.
- A student is part of a community of music makers. Home
lessons can be a lonely activity because students spend the
bulk of their playing time alone in a practice room.
The weekly encouragement of fellow musicians and teachers
within a school is invaluable.
- You are exposed to a musical environment. Often, people
get into playing music because their friend does, or they've
listened to a particular musician that's touched
them. A store stocked with instruments and people playing
them is very motivational for learning.
Q: Can I teach myself to play an instrument?
Some very accomplished musicians are
self-taught. Several "Teach Yourself" books and DVDs are
available. However, you will learn quicker if you have an
instructor who teaches you the proper technique. In the early
stages of learning, we highly recommend that you take lessons
not to develop any hard-to-break bad habits that will slow your progress.
Q: I would like to learn to play, but I don't think I have musical
talent. No one else in my family has ever done anything in
music. People say that I'm "tone-deaf." Can I learn?
EVERYONE has musical talent. We've never found anyone who
couldn't respond to or participate in music at some level. And,
some learn to play more quickly and easily than others. If no
one in your family makes music, you will become a great example for them by starting.
Q: How much time should I spend practicing every day?
It's not so much the exact practice time that's important,
but consistent daily practice. A beginner can start with 15-30 minutes per day, depending on
your age. After that, the time will vary depending on your
ability. Eventually, you will no longer feel like you are
"practicing." You'll be playing because you love it!
Q: My child takes in-school orchestra classes. Should
he also take private lessons?
Most educators recommend private lessons on an
instrument in addition to the in-school classes.
Private lessons allow the individual attention a child needs to
progress more rapidly on their instrument and perform to the
best of their abilities. They will enable a student to focus on their musical interests and goals. Also, when your child
comes to our school for lessons, he or she is with a
professional dedicated to their particular instrument.
Q: How can I help my child succeed in music?
You can nurture your child's musical talents in the following ways:
- Provide a quality instrument and make sure
it is always in good working order.
- Schedule regular daily practice times and provide a quiet place where your child
- Be nearby during practise times as often as possible and praise your child's
efforts and achievements.
- Provide your child with regular opportunities to play music with and for family
and friends in a relaxed setting.
- Expose your child to a variety of musical experiences. Listen to music together
at home, attend concerts, music festivals, participate in community music events.
Q: At what age should a child start lessons?
It depends on the instrument and the child's physical size and
Piano -- Children can begin at age 5. They should recognize numbers one through five and
understand the correlation between the numbers on the page and
the finger numbers. If he or she knows the alphabet A
through G, that is all that's needed. Your child should be
able to sit still at the piano for about 10 to 15 minutes while
focusing on having fun.
Woodwinds -- Children as young as age 5 can begin learning
the recorder, which is a great stepping stone to any instrument. Progression to flute, clarinet, and saxophone depends
on the child's physical size. For example, fingers must be large enough to
cover holes and reach keys. Also, a child must have the strength
to hold the instrument -- saxophones are larger and heavier than
flutes and clarinets.
Brass -- Brass instruments are often too heavy for a child younger than age 9. Many young
children don't have the strength or the manual dexterity
needed. Also, playing these instruments requires significant
breath control, lung capacity, and special mouthing techniques, so most experts
recommend brass instruments for older children.
Violin -- It is possible to start at age 5. By
this age, a child has started reading,
which many teachers believe is important. Violins sizes range from 1/16-size to full-size, so a child's physical size is not
Guitar -- Because guitars come in small sizes,
children can usually begin learning the guitar at age 5
Drums -- Rhythm and percussion are the most basic of
all music which can be taught at a very young age. Browse the
Kid's Drums page in the Drum section for more information and
pictures of kid's percussion.
Q: Should I rent or buy an instrument for my child?
Purchasing or renting an instrument is a substantial
investment, especially when the children are at
an age when they change their minds regularly. Some things to
- It's an excellent way to see if your child has an interest
in a long-term commitment.
- If it doesn't work out and the student loses interest, you
can return the instrument, no questions asked.
- When renting at Allegro Music, all of your rental payment
can be applied to the instrument you are renting or a step-up
- Students tend to take more pride in their instrument and
take better care of it.
- Students are more committed to the learning process.
Students tend to see it as more of a long-term investment.
- If the student stops playing, they are more likely to
pick it up again in the future if the instrument is readily
available. Other family members may also enjoy playing
the instrument, or it may be passed down from generation to