Learning to play an instrument well is hard. Full stop. There’s no “but” in that statement. Most children who start the guitar aren’t going to become Eric Clapton; most children who learn to play the cello aren’t going to become Yo-Yo Ma. The amount of time and energy it takes to become great is daunting—tens of thousands of hours. But that’s not why you send your kids into piano lessons; you send them for the discipline. Unlike just about any other subject your child will ever study, the experience of progressing from a fumbled middle C on the piano to playing “Fur Elise” with some competence will teach your child the value of perseverance like nothing else. Everything yields to practice. That is the backbone of our instrument program. The greats became great because they worked at it. Whatever “it” is, “it” takes practice. Music is its own reward, yes, but learning how to make music will pay dividends in every endeavor your child will ever undertake.
What They Learn in Small Group Instrument Classes:
- How to read music
- How to interpret and play notated rhythmic patterns
- How to understand time signatures
- How to play chords
- How to create good tone
- How to accompany themselves or other musicians
- How to keep a beat
- How to play together in a group
- How to work hard to learn a skill over time
There’s a reason guitars are more prevalent in contemporary music than any other instrument: they can match the full range of the human voice—just like a piano—but they are way smaller. The ultimate “singer-songwriter” instrument, the guitar not only brings your children closer to the music they love, it brings them closer to each other. The guitar is a social instrument, and learning how to play it is a great way to make friends.
- How to tune a guitar
- How to use a capo
- How to play open chords
- How to read, write, and play basic rhythms
- Time Signatures
- Basic strumming patterns
- Finger picking
- Distinguishing high notes from low notes
- What the keys on the piano represent (i.e. the musical alphabet)
- How to read music, including treble and bass clef
- Putting their hands together
When parents enroll their children in instrument classes designed to enrich them, violin is a very close second behind the piano. There are a lot of reasons for that, but besides its convenience and portability, the violin allows the student to quickly identify with the classical tradition. No stringed instrument quite captures what is thought of as “the classical sound” like the violin, and with so many resources available for the violin it is a great choice for your child’s instrument.