You should start your child’s music education as early as possible. Ideally a 5 year old child is ready to start with some kind of music instructions. The real problem is to find out good teachers or institutes who can teach properly. It not taught properly, your child will not gain the real benefits of music, even worse-it can cause an opposite effect.
I have met people who started their kids’ music education without doing proper research only to find out later that the method of instruction was not proper and the child had lost his interest in music. Many such people come to my institute and seek guidance. I do advise them whatever is best, but in many cases, I know in my heart that it’s too late. If the child is exposed to wrong techniques for a long time, it’s very difficult for him to un-learn everything and start with a new method. So my advice is, just as you take every care for choosing your children’s school, do the same for choosing their music school too.
Private tuition Vs Institutes:
For learning music, a reputed music institute or school is anytime better than private tuitions. A good institute provides an overall atmosphere for learning, which is important. Children can learn in a competitive environment, make like-minded friends, learn from other students and learn to co-ordinate with each other. Institutes also organize events and activities which are again very helpful in expanding their learning
What to look for?
You should check following things when selecting the music school for your child:
Graded system: Does the school offer a proper graded system?
Curriculum: Does the school provide a complete curriculum? A complete curriculum should cover –(A) Technical studies related to instrument (B) Music theory (C) Ear training (D) Music language
Examination system: Does the school offer a regular assessment & certification program?
Atmosphere: Is the atmosphere suitable for children?
Teachers & staff: Do the teachers & staff look warm and friendly?
Past record: How is the institute’s past record in terms of results and students retention?
Reviews & feedback: How is the feedback of previous or present students or their parents?
What to do after joining the music school?
First, read the school’s rules and regulations carefully. Tell your child to follow the rules. Make sure that the child knows his/her syllabus. Purchase the instrument timely, so that your child can start practicing at home. Make sure your child has a dedicated place to practice. Help your child make a time table for practicing music. Keep in touch with the teachers & school administration. Share your concerns and feedbacks with them. If you feel your child is losing interest in lessons, talk to the school administration. Talk to your child and make him understand that music education is just like regular academic education, which needs to be completed. Time to time, ask your children to perform for you. Don’t be a critic while listening to them, be the audience. Praise & encourage them and they will do better next time. If you are happy with your child’s progress, let the teachers know.
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Copyright material. From Anurag Dixit’s book ‘Music makes kids smarter’. No part of this article may be produced in any form or by any means.
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