Helpful tips and funny thoughts from a musician's mind

Is school orchestra getting “spooky?” Here’s how to combat your young musician’s frustrations

Is school orchestra getting “spooky?” Here’s how to combat your young musician’s frustrations

Your child begs all summer to play the clarinet. Eventually, you cave, rent an instrument, and sign him up for the school’s band program…and he LOVES it!


That is, for a few weeks. By mid-October, the “Honeymoon Phase” of starting an instrument is over, and the same child who begged to play clarinet doesn’t want to touch it anymore.


Sound familiar?


Let’s be honest — almost every musician has been in that place. What started as a joy, a challenge, and a new adventure becomes intimidating and frustrating. Learning an instrument is tough! We often see students lose their excitement for their new instrument around late fall, hence the Halloween reference in the title of this week’s blog post. Slow progress, challenging music, and competing with peers at school can be….well, scary!


Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be scary. One of the very best ways to keep music a “low-stress investment” is to get your son or daughter into individualized lessons. In many cases, a private instructor is better equipped to address and alleviate the stresses that might be “spooking” your child in a larger classroom setting.


Here are a few ways that private lessons can calm the nerves and restore your child’s love for the instrument — ESPECIALLY a few months into lessons at school!



1. YOUR CHILD WILL GAIN A BETTER SENSE OF HIS STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES. Kids are smart! Nine times out of ten, they know what part of playing an instrument is most difficult for them…they just might be afraid to voice their weaknesses in a larger classroom setting. Private lessons give young musicians a space to share what is difficult for them without feeling embarrassed.


2. YOU CAN IMPROVE AT YOUR OWN PACE. Classrooms are tough because they have to cater to the “middle” skill-wise. If you’re advanced, or way behind, you might not receive the attention you need…not because the teachers don’t care (public school teachers, we love you!!), but because time and schedule might not permit that teacher to address everything that needs to be addressed. In a private lesson, your child can work at his or her own pace, whether that’s faster or slower than their peers’. There is no pressure to keep up and no frustration when the group has to slow down…just you and your teacher, running at the speed that works for you.


3. YOU CAN FOCUS MORE ON TECHNIQUE. A private instructor can get into “nitty gritty” corrections that aren’t always possible in a group class. That means your child will go into the group sessions more prepared, ahead of the pack, and with confidence!


4. YOU CAN BRANCH OUT BEYOND HOMEWORK. Sometimes, the best way to take the “scary” factor out of music is to step away from classwork and play something you love! Obviously, that’s not possible in school because the work there is education-based. Private lessons are STILL educational and purposeful, but they are also more flexible. Private instructors can work with your son or daughter to find music that they truly enjoy — music that they will love enough to practice! When you really love what you do, it’s hard to be afraid of it. 🙂


At Learning Allegro, we offer private lessons on almost every instrument. If your child has been “spooked” by the challenge of group lessons at school, we’d love to come alongside you and help. For more information, visit our website or call 484-341-8842.

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