Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as we were invited to try a lesson. All opinions expressed are my own.
Back to school means many different things. One is that many students are picking up instruments for the first time. Some may be continuing their schooling and have decided that they would like to increase their knowledge base by taking private lessons. It’s a common question asked by my readers, “where to take lessons”.
One local option that is fairly new is the New City School of Music. We headed over to check it out at our earliest convenience. The School boasts lovely facilities on North Main Street in New City. They have available 7+ rooms for practicing, many already equipped with instruments for lessons. If you need to rent an instrument they have that ability right through their website (click here). The School has trained teachers who have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in music and can instruct students in: voice, piano, drums, flute, saxophone, guitar, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, bass, violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, trombone, baritone (euphonium) and tuba (yeah that’s pretty much everything). Additionally, they hold a “Mommy & Me” class for students who are too young still for “traditional” music lessons.
Eager to get information for our readers, we signed (A) up for a lesson. (A) is newly (5) so we decided to let the Music School decide which instrument would be most appropriate for a student in his age bracket. It was decided that the best place to begin would be with piano. Although he has seen pianos before at the homes of relatives and fiddled with them, he has never played one.
During a Photo-shoot, (A) plays (I use the term loosely) his acoustic guitar.
Photocredit: Jennifer Campbell of Honeybee Photography NY
We arrived for our lesson and met our teacher who was very welcoming. Before they got started she took a moment to see how familiar (A) was with the instrument (not very). They then went over some important points such as body position. He learned how to refer to his fingers (which he seemed to have some difficulty with). His instructor never got frustrated in fact (as a teacher myself) I was very impressed at the different ways that she activated his memory. Not only did she show him, and then ask him, she then had him trace and draw the hands, and then she had him hide his hands and do it without looking. It wasn’t just memorizing (like the way I learned so many years ago).
Learning the correct way to count his fingers.
When she got to the part where she was talking about tempo and time, she had him get up and march along with the music before he attempted to replicate it. This is a FANTASTIC approach for a 5 year old boy who has some trouble sitting and paying attention for the entire half hour class.
When the class had concluded I inquired about how many lessons would be good for him at his age and was impressed with the answer that he should only take 1 class a week. I was sure that any school would answer that he should come as many times as possible so that he could practice, learn, and the school could make money, but they knew that he wouldn’t be able to sit and focus that often, and said that he should practice on his own at home.
Both RNYD and I studied instruments throughout our school careers. We were even in a band together in adulthood. Music is important to our family. Of course I went with a slew of questions. The most important however, was that of curriculum. I wanted to know that my child was going to be challenged, and also learn how to perform, but I also wanted to know that they were going to help them to foster and protect a love of music. We wanted to know that they would also encourage our children to be themselves, and to find a way to incorporate that into the lessons.
These questions and more were answered exactly as we had wanted. They would learn somewhat traditionally, and would have a chance to perform, 3 TIMES A YEAR (not just the standard 1-2). What stuck out the most though was the answer to curriculum. Not only will they use “traditional” classical music, but they tap into child interests as well. In fact, one reason why it is important for all of their teachers to have such a strong background in music is so that they can compose music for the students. Without prompting I was told that another young man that they were working with had said that he wanted to learn how to play “Star Wars”. They composed a version for him and he did learn to play it, during the process, he learned to play the piano. It wasn’t boring, and he was encouraged to practice because he WANTED to learn it. Thus fostering a love for the music, and for playing.
To be successful in learning an instrument it is imperative that a student practice. This added incentive of enjoying what they are learning is a fabulous way to tap into those interests and encourage them to do so.
FREE $55 Registration Fee for RocklandNYMom.com readers who register before 9/30/15!WHAT TO DO NEXT:
1. Call 845-499-2137 OR email email@example.com to set up your first lesson.
2. Just print this flyer and bring it to our office to redeem your coupon when you register.
IT’S THAT EASY!
Must be surrendered at time of original registration
• Cannot be combined with any other offer
• Limit one per customer/per household
• Offer only valid for students who are not currently enrolled at the New City School of Music and who enroll between the dates of 08/14/15-10/01/15
• Not vaild for cash or refunds to your account