Football, horse riding, dancing, programming classes, maybe some cooking classes? I’m not talking about an extra language courses anymore, because that’s obvious for everyone. We want the best for our kids and we have more and more choices of extracurricular activities. It’s a great idea if the child just spend time in a creative way instead of being bored. And yet, we have recently signed them up for some instrument lessons. So how do you reconcile it with each other?
Isn’t it too much?
Nowadays, kids have the choice of an infinite offer of extra classes. It is worth to try as much as possible in this early period of development, collect valuable experience and constantly search for what drives us in life – our passion. However, we must remember that the week is only 7 days, and the day consists of compulsory and valuable time to rest.
We would like to enroll your child for instrument lessons, so to do it right is best to apply to the music school. However, a music school is not just about playing an instrument. It is also a large dose of theoretical knowledge, which in turn will consume a minimum of 3-4 hours a week.
That is why it is sad, but more and more often children give up classes at a music school. Because of football training twice a week (I do not mention the matches), because of dance classes and additional rehearsals for performances, because of additional English and homework to do.
Playing the instrument should give first and foremost joy, which in combination with hard work can develop into a passion for life.
Looking at the very large cross-section of my students, I come to that conclusion. The conservative and inflexible syllabus in music schools instead of engendering passion, discourages children from music more and more. Kids put in rigid frameworks are bored and the spirit of music and creativity is killed. There is no time or space for improvising on an instrument or playing more entertaining tracks, because we have to prepare a compulsory program for the exam. The theory is rarely given in an interesting way, and the students do not see the practical use of such knowledge. I’m not saying theory is not important. If your student is more gifted you can slowly go deeper into music theory. Though it shouldn’t be for everybody.
We should focus primarily on what gives us satisfaction, of course in combination with hard work.
Everyone’s different and the teaching program should match student’s needs. It is very good for every student to know such composers as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin or Lutosławski. However, not everyone wants to play only such music. During my classes I smuggle some classical pieces and share interesting recordings of outstanding artists, but when I don’t see any interest I do not press. First of all you need to interest someone in the instrument, no matter how. That is why I try to develop pieces for students due to their skills and predispositions. Each of them has some challenges ahead and develops a higher level of playing, but above all they derive great joy from it. There is also a place for theoretical classes in accessible form and showing how to use it in practical way.
Basics of improvisation as a way to get to know your instrument better
Improvisational skill is extremely important. Not only develops our creativity, but also helps to know the instrument better. After improvisation lessons, I noticed my students suddenly have no problems with the precision, the sense of rhythm and they don’t feel shy. They see progress and do what gives them great satisfaction. And what’s more, they gain confidence while performing.
Ambitions vs reality
Being a musician is a beautiful thing, but more importantly it’s a very difficult profession. It gives great satisfaction, but also requires many sacrifices. But to become such a musician, the crucial thing is your passion. This can only be done by inspiring students with your passion – by playing interesting music, showing amazing recordings and developing what’s best in your student’s character. First, however, you need to arouse interest and desire for further musical research. All this combined with really hard work has only a chance of success.
And let’s face it – not everyone must be a musician. More important is that music and playing the instrument should give us great satisfaction. And this will certainly translate into a better quality of our lives.
Of course, not everyone has to agree with me, it’s just my observation and I write it first and foremost so that children and their parents know that playing an instrument has only advantages and you can play the guitar while developing your other passions.
See you in the next post, R.