As the 2019-2020 school year ramps up, we know getting back into the groove when it comes to school and extracurriculars can be tough. So, to help make the transition a little easier, we've put together a guide to making the most of your music lessons.
1. Dust off and tune your instrument
A clean and tuned instrument is a happy instrument. If you’re in NYC check out Little Ear Piano Repair, Chelsea Guitars, David Gague for all things strings and JL Woodwinds.
2. Commit to a weekly lesson time.
Consistency is key. Find a time that works for you and keep it! At WillYouLearn, we simplify scheduling and keep students on track through a semesterly program that offers in-home, 1-hour lessons with the same teacher, on the same day, at the same time each week.
3. Find a teacher you trust.
Good teachers help us become good musicians. At WillYouLearn, we insist on the highest standards for our teachers. We are not only masters of our craft but also trained educators who understand that the ear is the key to it all. We see music as a language, and teach it as such. This means our students first learn to listen, imitate, absorb, and speak--then read and study. Meet our teachers
4. Establish the year’s goal.
Decide what you want to get out of the year. Many of our students set goals for the [year-end] recital – whether it be to perform in front of a crowd for the first time, to perform with a band or a friend, or to create an original composition. compose something. Last year, one of our students arranged and performed Coldplay’s Lost with our faculty band. It was amazing. View the performance
5. Set up a practice space and routine.
Practice makes permanent. Set your own daily practice goals! Remember that quality beats quantity - a scale played once well is better than a scale played fifty times poorly. Pro tip: keeping a regular practice journal helps tremendously. Read our post "Practice is not the Most Important Thing."
6. Stock up on supplies.
We encourage every student to have a book of manuscript paper, pencils, a metronome and a listening device accessible at all times. Fall is also a great time to add to your sheet music collection. New books can inspire a fresh start to the year. The Juilliard bookstore has a great selection, a visit there would make a fun afternoon. Catch a show at Lincoln Center and grab some books.
7. Experience music.
Hearing and experiencing music is the most important part of learning to play. Play what you like to listen to and listen to what you like to play – it’s how you learn the language. NYC has no shortage of the world’s best musicians playing often times within a block or two of each other. So, why not take advantage of it? See our picks for 8 fall family-friendly events.
Will Armstrong is the founder of WillYouLearn. He's a professional pianist with over 20 years of teaching experience.