Learning to play a musical instrument is a challenge but with a little bit of effort, the rewards can be plentiful. We have outlined for you some of the milestones your child can look forward to reaching.
- How long does it take to learn notes / learn a piece?
The time taken to learn a note does depend on each individual child however, most children are able to play a solid note on a brass instrument within a couple of lessons.
Working towards a piece will take a little longer but regular practice will definitely help to speed this process up! Your child should be able to play a 3 note tune within approximately 6 weeks.
- Will they have to do exams/grades?
No! You can learn any instrument to a high standard without taking any formal grades or exams. Despite this, many people do choose to take exams to mark their progress and to build a sense of achievement.
There are a variety of assessments available including more formal exams (which you may have heard of), e.g. ABRSM or Trinity College and there are an increasing range of less formal progress awards such as Take 7 for example.
- At what point can they join a band?
Many Music Hubs and/or similar types of organisation offer after school or weekend music centres which will have beginner ensembles. These are normally instrument specific until the player is competent enough to progress into a full band. As a general rule, they will need to have mastered a range of 5 – 6 notes to join a band.
There are other organisations e.g. Brass Band England, that run youth programmes and bands. These are other possible avenues to explore when your child is ready.
- When can I expect them to perform for the first time?
There are a variety of different performance opportunities at varying levels, from performing informally for friends and family right through to performing in a music centre concert.
Schools often encourage children to show their skills during assembly or in talent showcases. If your child progresses into a band they will most likely perform in an end of term concert.