Being manufacturers of trumpets, trombones, cornets and pBuzzes, we get a fair few questions about music lessons, how do you decide what to play, where do you find a teacher, what does it cost?!
As a team of musicians and parents, we have shared our thoughts on some of the frequently asked questions...
Hourly rates vary from £15-£150+. However most lie within the £20-40 range.
Q: How do you find a music teacher?
There are many ways to find a teacher including having lessons at school or through your local music hub. Alternatively, you can search for local private music teachers online.
The lessons themselves, initially should be 30-45 minutes but the pupil needs to do regular practice, even 10 minutes a day is fine to begin with.
As early as is practical for the instrument, this does vary though, so speak to a teacher. Like any subject it’s good to do some preparation… listening to and preferably attending some concerts and demonstrations of various instruments. Always allow the child to show a personal preference for an instrument. Also we don’t always choose the right instrument for ourselves first go, so be flexible.
Looking at the evidential benefits for a child’s social, educational and mental health development…YES!
It is of course possible…Les Paul had no electric guitar lessons: because he invented the instrument! There are more and more resources and lessons on line, however the vast majority of people will progress more quickly and securely under the guidance of a good teacher.
There’s so much to learn! Also the relationship a pupil builds with their music teacher, over a period of time, becomes in its self a valuable part of social learning and a real, broad resource in that child’s life.
If your child is totally disengaged form the activity for a period of time, say six weeks, then we are probably doing more harm than good! It may not be the broad activity though, you could try changing instrument, group or teacher. Remember that playing an instrument is a team activity so joining a group or band is vital…you wouldn’t practice football skills for years and years before playing a game!
Classroom music is part of the national curriculum in the UK and should be taught, in school at least at KS1 & 2. When looking at instrumental music lessons, if one considers the hours of practise and years of college study that go into becoming an instrumental music teacher, rates are not that high and purchasing or renting a musical instrument is better value for money now than ever before. However, all families need to prioritise both the time and money they invest in activities for their children and despite the proven benefit of learning an instrument for general educational development instrumental music lessons are a big investment.
It is possible to learn an instrument in a small group setting of three or four, which can be more fun and of course reduces the cost of lessons, so getting together with some like minded parents or discussing group lessons with the teacher could really help. At the end of the day it’s rare to meet an adult who regrets learning an instrument as a child and the life-long opportunity for a deeply rewarding hobby is a fantastic gift for a parent to give to their child.
Read how pBone has revolutionised music lessons in a school here...