Guest post from Elizabeth of Practice for Parents
Do you think it takes a truck-load of money to get the music education your child deserves?
As a music teacher, I can tell you first-hand that music does not have to be expensive. In fact, time and time again, I have seen frugal parents get their kids the best results, while more well-off peers lose interest altogether.
So what do all those smart frugal parents have in common? They have a few tricks up their sleeves that help them provide maximum music education value for minimum music education cost.
Here are a few tips to help YOU do that too!
Find the teacher who fits your child and your budget.
Some parents think pricey private lessons will turn their child into the next Mozart. They quickly sign up with the teacher who charges the most money for music lessons, or they seek out the one instructor everyone else is learning from.
But no matter what they charge or what their credentials are, you always want a teacher who can connect with your child, break down tough skills, and inspire them to practice every week.
Finding the right teacher can take time. Every instructor, like every child, is different. Their personalities and teaching styles differ, too. That’s why it’s important to do your homework and see what’s out there before you commit to music lessons.
Many school and university music departments, band and orchestra directors, as well as music supply shops keep a list of local instructors on hand. Contact a few of these teachers and visit a few with your child.
Don’t feel pressured to sign up with the first one you meet! It’s always more important to find a teacher who clicks with your child well than simply “the best one money can buy.”
Learn how to practice.
Once you find an affordable teacher who works well with your child, you still need to get them to practice!
So many parents spend good money on teachers, but then never make sure their kids are actually practicing what they’re learning. Parents everywhere are throwing their money out the window by paying their child’s music instructor to re-hash the same lesson week after week.
Lessons won’t help much if your child isn’t actually practicing. That’s like buying a gym membership, but never actually going to work out. Then, feeling disappointed that you’re not becoming any healthier!
The end result? Your child is frustrated, your teacher is frustrated, and you’ve wasted lots of money on useless lessons, every week.
Instead, set them up for success by helping them make their music practice a daily habit. Good habits make all the difference and don’t cost a dime.
Start out with short, focused practices at the same time every single day. Not every practice session will be perfect, and you’re guaranteed to hear a lot of sour notes. But no musician becomes great without a lot of tough practices along the way.
Go to those free concerts.
Kids who see musicians in concert are often inspired to advance their own skills and practice more at home. That’s why you want to take your child to see as many performances as you can. These performers are role models for them.
Worried all those great concert-going experiences are going to be expensive?
And don’t worry about the cost — there are SO many free (and inexpensive) concerts if you take the time to search them out!
There are phenomenal musicians playing in concerts and recitals all the time at your local college and university. Performing is a big part of their academic credits that go toward their graduation requirement.
These student musicians are only a couple years shy of becoming professionals, which means you’re listening to breathtaking music during every performance without paying an arm and a leg to hear them.
A music education, coupled with your great parenting, will give your child the confidence, creativity, and work ethic they’ll need to achieve just about any goal they want in life.
There’s no doubt about it: the investment in music is priceless. Luckily, giving them the experience doesn’t have to be.
Elizabeth Kane is a music teacher and writer who loves helping parents make their children unstoppable through the power of a music education. Get her free guide that shows you what to look for in a teacher, why kids really hate practicing, and what you can do to guarantee success.