Despite the convenience of in-home lessons, taking music classes from a teacher’s home base are actually much more beneficial to a students progress. This especially applies to younger students. The difference comes from the attitudes and logistical issues that occur when lessons take place in a student’s home. In this blog, we’ll discuss why it’s actually much better to take lessons in a facility than in a student’s home.
New and Unfamiliar Territory
Have you ever noticed that when you enter someone’s house for the first time, you tend to take a more submissive posture and a quieter tone, out of respect for the homeowner’s space and rules? However, when in your own territory, an you are much more likely to be comfortable with being in charge and with giving suggestions. When a child sees a music teacher arriving at their home for the first time, they will be able to sense the subtle shift in power between the parent or homeowner and the instructor. Unfortunately, a teacher’s efforts to be polite in an unfamiliar environment result in the child feeling that this person has less authority than their parents. This can be a bad start to the relationship between teacher and student, and hinders the building of respect for their teacher necessary for progress. This subtlety may make a very big difference over time and impact the students perception and respect of the instructor. We have found that when a student enters the territory of the instructor, they in turn tend to respect to the instructor, which overtime greatly impacts the effectiveness of the lessons.
Who Provides In-Home Lessons?
If you have found an in-home instructor that works really well for your needs, there is a chance that they are new to teaching, or new to the city. Career instructors are teachers who are serious about long term music education and are successful at acquiring numerous students through word-of-mouth. These serious instructors rarely want to provide in-home lessons, for a very simple and logical reason. Even if an additional amount is charged for in-home lessons, it rarely compensates the drive time between students. In dense traffic areas like Los Angeles, it is likely that the instructor will spend more time in the car then they will spend teaching during a lesson day. This is an inefficient way for the instructor to make income, and causes high-level teachers to generally stray away from in-home classes as much as possible. In addition, when a teacher finally gets to a lesson after spending hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic, their attitude and attention may be affected as well and the lesson might suffer. It’s especially important for parents to consider this before signing up for in-home lessons.
Positive Peer Pressure
One of the biggest benefits of taking lessons in a facility is the added peer pressure and social engagement from other students. When kids see others doing well and progressing, it has an enormous impact on them. With in-home lessons, the only gauge students have on goals for their progress is how their teacher plays, which can sometimes seem unattainable. Not only is there a light competition between students as they pass down the hallways and hear each other, but there also a sense of belonging and camaraderie with students that are in their age range. While an instructor coming to the house may be doing a good job, they cannot provide that student-to-student connection that both motivates and creates friendly competition.
In a music facility, students usually only have the music and their teacher to focus on. This creates a great environment for students of all different attention spans to learn. However, taking lessons in a student’s home comes with many distractions; phone calls, siblings, pets, parents, mail deliveries, renovations, electronics, and toys all can take the student’s attention away from the lesson. Some students will even refuse to play unless a parent is present, which prevents students from learning independence and conquering their fears about performance. One teacher taught a student whose family was having renovations done for about six months, and the constant banging, commotion, and general noise greatly inhibited the student’s progress. Another teacher had to cut a lesson short due to a smoke detector going off in the kitchen while the student’s parents were cooking dinner. Many teachers have reported lessons being interrupted by dogs running in and out, and parents or siblings trying to help by checking in, while really just causing the student’s attention to break.