Why Study Music in Roxbury?
While learning to make music with others is invaluable, private lessons offer the only real way for a child to learn the mechanics of the instrument on a deeper level. As their directors, our primary focus is to work on developing the skills necessary for performing in a larger ensemble. Instruction in class is provided in large group settings, simply because of the numbers in our program vs. the number of staff. While we do provide methods for individual improvement within this group setting, there is no match for the growth opportunities provided through one-on-one instruction.
An advantage of private instruction is that each student will gain more competency on their individual instrument. As students become more competent, they, in turn, feel more confident. Confidence ultimately leads to greater musical enjoyment and a broader sense of accomplishment as an individual and within the ensemble. The life skills students learn from studying privately and participating in band include: learning to solve problems independently, budget time, cope with stress, take pride in an accomplishment, and contribute as a member of a team.
In a private lesson situation, teachers have the opportunity to work individually and directly with a student, at their own rate of progress, with the process of learning. Private teachers act as a guide to the process of self-discovery through music. A good private teacher will provide the student with the correct tools to set musical goals, self-critique, and “figure it out” in the practice room. In line with this idea, it should be understood that regular and thoughtful practice is another essential part of musical study. A student that attends a lesson without having put in practice time is unable to take full advantage of the professional knowledge being presented to them. It is best to set up a practice routine and then to follow it as strictly as possible. For example, a half-hour session every weeknight just before dinner could be an easy way to develop a routine. Once you establish a routine, try not to break it. Discuss with the teacher how much practice time your child needs. Generally, it’s a good idea to set a ballpark estimate of practice time, but bear in mind that ultimately productivity is more important than minutes. The private teacher can act as a vehicle for the student, but only if the student has material prepared to fuel the journey.
Finally, expose your family to live classical and jazz music whenever possible. Our community is situated less than one hour away from New York City, one of the cultural centers of the world. In any given week there is a diverse offering of musical performances available for the listening. Within New Jersey, performances are consistently offered through universities and community programs. Find a concert that features your child’s instrument. Hearing a professional player perform live can be a tremendous inspiration to young musicians. Often the experience can help open their eyes and ears to future possibilities, as well as motivate them to continue their own study.