I'm frequently questioned by parents if our Accelerated Lesson Program can compete with traditional private music instruction. The deeply imbedded natural assumption seems to be that a one-to-0ne style lesson will provide the highest quality instruction, and yield the greatest results, while also helping the student with any attention or confidence deficits.
Our lessons at The Music Studio are quite different from the private lessons typically offered through music stores and home-based teachers. However, having taught privately (the one-on-one type lessons) for 25 years, and seeing the extremely poor survival rate of students who study that way....I made a change in lesson structure that would ensure success, and have been teaching in this improved format for the past 10 years! Our lessons allow each student to progress individually within a small group setting -- and, what students will experience at a complimentary tryout is almost exactly how a regular lesson would go. A seasoned class moves very energetically, and will typically have 4 to 6 students!
Although I often describe our lesson format as being different from "traditional" lessons, our actual teaching method is traditional/classical - where students learn to read music and rhythm (not by ear), and are guided chronologically through classical music theory. All our instructors and assistants are also classically trained musicians. So, the "what" in our teaching does remain true to traditional western music.
Students continue playing the entire session, and may "pass" a song as soon as they are able to play it correctly and fluidly. This knocks out the difficult part of practicing before they leave the lesson, and lets them move at their most comfortable pace (their pace or progress is never held back by the other students).
The biggest benefit to this format is the sightreading -- the ability to play through a brand new song almost perfectly, without prior practice. We cover A LOT of music in a 60-minute session, so by the end, they've read through and mastered 10 to 15 songs. The high sightreading skills lead to independent learning and a big spike in confidence. During tryout lessons, I enjoy noticing somewhat timid students become rapidly comfortable with looking at the next new song without me providing too much instruction on how to start or what to look for (this is fabulous, as music is written to provide the performer with all the answers/secrets, so when students get to the point where they start to seek solutions within their music -- a musician is born!).
We have fun with it...the students love to keep me hopping from piano to piano as fast as they can learn a song :). And, usually, at the end of the lesson (as long as we've accomplished a lot of playing), we'll take a little break and sneak in some theory, ear training, or try some ensemble or percussion playing together.
Our students fly through lesson books...by comparison to 20 or so years ago, their progress rate has doubled or tripled, and on average they continue with lessons well beyond their method books. Our students continue playing as adults, major in and have careers in music, receive college and local scholarships, and win competitions (we've had three winners play at Carnegie Hall in NYC). It's not required for students to pursue serious performing, and we do non-competitive performance events, too....but it's there if they aspire in that direction! And, this program can certainly get them there, if they want it.
Although I'm a survivor of private lessons, and a 25-year veteran teacher of the "old school" one-to-one lessons...I'll never go back! The failure rate and student turnover are ridiculously high, and leave students with unpleasant memories of music and lessons.
Instead, I choose to provide a lesson program that reinforces sight-reading, independent learning, and rapid progress...and produce student musicians who have the confidence to reach beyond what I can personally show them.
Thanks for reading!
Experience our program for yourself....we'd love to have you visit our studio and sample a lesson, free of charge!
Your teachers here at The Music Studio want to share their insight on our Music Lessons and provide the tips and tricks needed for a successful music education!