Practice can feel like a problem. Yea, I said it! This blog is going to give you loads of easy, practical.. (did I mention easy??) ways to step into the role of Engaged Parent and smooth out the practice experience for your music student and yourself. Keep reading to learn how simple it really is to help your student get the absolute best experience with their music. I can tell the stress is melting away already.Continue reading “The Engaged Parent – A Music Student’s #1 Best Asset”
At its core, Design Thinking is a problem-solving process that begins with the needs of the user. Here at Music Junkie Studios, we use Design Thinking to empower our students to take control of their education and create a learning experience that is tailored to their individual needs. You’ll probably hear us around the studio talking about “Student-Led Customization.” This is just our special music/education word for Design Thinking! Keep reading to learn more about how we use Design Thinking in our school and how you can apply this process to your own life.
Continue reading “5 Steps of Design Thinking: How We Put Students First”
Despite being busy, many adults find a lot of value in learning a new instrument! In this blog, I’ll share 5 great tips aimed at helping adults who want to learn an instrument and stick with it long term. Whether you’ve been trying to play for years, or have just recently picked up the instrument, the information in this article will be helpful.Continue reading “5 Important Tips for the Adult Music Student”
Did you know that playing musical instruments is not only fun for toddlers and preschoolers, but it also helps with their development? From improving hand-eye coordination to enhancing memory skills, there are many benefits to be had from hands-on instrument play. Keep reading to learn more about what these benefits are and how you can help your child get the most out of their music-making experiences.Continue reading “15 Benefits of Hands-on Instrument Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers’ Development”
As a parent, finding the right music instructor for your child can be a lot. With so many options out there, it’s hard to know where to start. You want to make sure they’re getting the most out of their experience and that they’re in an environment that’s conducive to learning. If you’re on the hunt for a music instructor for your child, here are five amazing questions to ask to ensure you find the perfect fit.
#1: What are your qualifications?
It’s important to make sure that the instructor you choose is qualified to teach music. Ask about their education and experience in both teaching music and performing. The more qualified they are, the better equipped they will be to help your child reach their musical goals. Any good music instructor will be more than happy to share their qualifications with you. After all, they should be proud of their achievements!
A qualified instructor will have proper formal schooling in music, and ideally years of personal teaching experience. Of course, some excellent instructors are new to teaching. If they’re relatively inexperienced, decide if that’s a disqualifier for you or if you’re okay with it as long as they’re working with a more experienced mentor and being closely monitored and or trained.
#2: Do you have experience teaching children like mine?
You’ll want to be sure your child’s instructor takes ALL of these factors into consideration when planning and teaching your lessons:
- Learning style
- Personality and temperment
- Learning differences and Body differences
- Relevant behavior or health diagnosis
While some may specialize in teaching adults, others may only feel comfortable working with children. You want to make sure that your child’s teacher is comfortable working with kids their age, as this can make a big difference in how well they’re able to learn with this person.
It’s also important to be sure they’re really aware of how to format a lesson to maximize the success of different students. Younger or more active students likely need more variety and integrations of play-based learning. Other students might learn better by being able to concentrate on one activity for longer periods. You can dig a little deeper on this question by asking specifically “what kind of teaching approaches might you use for a student like my child?”
Make sure the answer you get is coming from a confident, open-minded, informed place.
#3: What is your approach to teaching?
This question is important because it will give you a sense of what the instructor values, how they go about imparting knowledge, their approach to teaching, and what the class dynamic will be like. Some instructors believe in a more old school or traditional approach to lessons while others may take a more creative, go-with-the-flow route.
There are also teachers who take a more innovative approach by gravitating more towards one approach or the other, depending on the needs of the individual student. This kind of teacher is especially handy if you are looking for one instructor for two very different students. There is no right or wrong answer here, as long as you feel it works well for your child and their learning style.
#4: What’s your teaching philosophy?
Do they believe all lessons should look and sound the same? Do they focus on technical mastery, or do they focus on creativity and self-expression? Asking about the instructor’s teaching philosophy will help you get a feel for whether or not their style is a good fit for your child. Some teachers display a philosophy statement in their space or on their website. Even if they don’t have a philosophy statement, they should be able to clearly communicate their teaching philosophy.
Here’s our philosophy statement at Music Junkie Studios:
We reject a one-size-fits-all approach to education and believe that music education should be an individualized experience, catering to the specific needs and passions of the student. We believe that each student has something unique and special to offer. We will assist our students to express themselves and accept themselves for who they are, as well embrace the differences of others.
We believe a stimulating environment where students can grow mentally, emotionally, and socially is essential for their development. We will provide a safe environment for students to share their ideas and take risks.
We strive to instill a love of learning in our students. We are dedicated to continuous growth as educators and are committed to providing the best possible experience for each and every student. We believe that we owe it to our students, as well as the local community, to bring consistency, creativity, positivity, excellence, diligence, and warmth to our jobs in the hope that we can ultimately inspire and encourage such traits in our community as well.
#5: What do you expect from your students?
This question goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. It’s essential to know what the instructor expects from their students in terms of dedication and effort outside of the lesson time. Knowing what is expected of your child can help alleviate any stress or anxiety they may feel about taking the class. It’s also important to share your own desires and preconceptions about the expectations of your child. Discussing your overall goals for lessons and reaching agreement on how to approach them is so important.
Depending on the instructor and the organization they work within, you could learn the weekly practice expectation is WAY different than you assumed. If so, you’ll have to decide between accepting the difference or not. If not, it’s probably not going to be a good fit.
Similarly, if they operate their lessons with a different level of structure than you expect, that could also pose a problem down the road. If you’re looking for a lot of structure and the teacher is free flowing with their teaching format, or you’re hoping for a freely flowing expressive session but the instructor is more regimented than you hoped, you’re bound to dislike your experience. Be sure you’re on the same page in terms of expectations before moving forward.
#6: What Can I Do To Support My Child’s Lessons?
Asking this question shows that you’re invested in your child’s musical development and that you want to do what you can to help them succeed. A good instructor will have no problem sharing ideas with you on how you can support your child outside of their lessons. Honestly, a good instructor will probably overload you with ideas here – because they really care about their student’s success. Whether it’s tips on which books to buy or ideas for simple at-home exercises, a good instructor will always be willing to help parents help their children.
So, what are the right questions to ask when looking for a music teacher for your child? We hope that our list has given you a good starting point. Asking about teaching style, qualifications, and expectations is a great way to get started, but don’t stop there! Be sure to also ask about the teacher’s approach to learning music and how they foster a love of music in their students. By taking the time to find the perfect match for your family by getting a sense for their teaching style, qualifications, and expectations, you’ll be giving your child an incredible gift – the opportunity to learn and grow through music. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Thanks for reading!
Read the previous blog
Growing Your LOVE of Music | Cultivating Interests | Expanding Understanding | Honing Skills
Music Junkie Studios location: 1701 Enderly Place Fort Worth, TX 76104 phone: (682) 499-5732 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- We value about who you are as an individual
- We care to know what you need to succeed & have fun while doing it
- We care about your goals and interests
- We know one-size-fits-all programs don’t work
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