Music School or Private Lessons?

Not all parents or students are aware of the differences between studying at an music school versus a private instructor. This article will look at why an institution is generally a better choice.

Structure

An established music school such as the Angeles Academy will generally have a large number of students and instructors while also having a fixed schedule for students. Lesson days and times are consistently week to week to keep students on track with weekly routines. This is also a necessity due to the number of students present within the school. Families whose schedules are regular and consistent will find that this structure works very well for them. A disadvantage is that it can be challenging for a student whose schedule is unpredictable and constantly shifting. By contrast, a private instructor is typically much more flexible. This flexibility is often convenient for parents and students. Though convenient, there is a downside. When weekly routines are frequently broken, it can lead to a regression of the progress made by the student. The other challenge in working with  a private instructor, is that they might ask to frequently alter the schedule. This lack of consistency can make the students education become less of a priority over time.

Music School Facilities

Facilities are also an important aspect to lessons. Lessons that take place in a students or instructors home have a variety of downsides. From our experience, we have noticed that students who receive in home lessons tend to progress far less than students who come to an established facility. This might be because when a student enters the instructors space, there is a sense of respect and caution. When an instructor enters a students space, there is also a sense of respect and caution that tilts the balance of power in favor of the student. There is a sense of respect that comes in entering a teachers space at a facility that we believe makes a significant difference. While some instructors have a beautiful home where they offer lessons, the vast majority of instructors do not have a comfortable, organizized environment with the best quality instruments and equipment.

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Recitals

A music school such as the Angeles Academy, has regular recitals at predictable intervals of time throughout the year, which helps motivate the entire school. While private instructors may have their own recitals, their scheduling flexibility may cause them to be less of a priority or not happen regularly. Because a private instructor can only take on approximately 30 students at a time, the size of the pool of students in a school is much larger with hundreds of students. This means that the top level students will have 10-15 competitors rather than just a few. You can imagine how this can motivate the students to achieve their best. Social interaction, light competitiveness, and a friendly comparison of skills are all dramatic motivators, especially for younger students.

 

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Substitute instructors

Many students, particularly young children, get attached to their instructors. This is good in that the bond can produce quality results, but can also be disadvantageous to a student who is used to only one instructor. What can happen is that the instructor must leave for 2 months or suddenly has to leave the state and move away. We often find when this happens, that students stop their musical education or put it on hold. In these cases, the attachment to the instructor is now working against them and not allowing them to further their musical education. Another challenge can appear when a student is attached to a teacher who has an excellent personality, but doesn’t have advanced enough skills to move the student forward. In cases such as these, parents and students are not getting the most out of their musical education. In a music school such as the Angeles Academy, substitute instructors are an absolute necessity. The Angeles Academy believes that its duty is to provide the highest quality of musical education on a consistent basis. Eventually all students will have to move on whether it’s to elementary, high school, or college. Through that process they must be open to learning from new instructors. This can allow a student to be more open to continuing their musical education with a new teacher versus shutting down and not being willing to continue.

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