To become proficient on any instrument, consider taking music lessons. Everyone has a different goal for taking instruction, and these should be communicated clearly to the instructor at the outset. Adult and children can benefit from the guidance of a qualified, experienced professional. Instruction is available for almost any existing instrument including voice. Students should consider both private and group instruction depending on their goals.
Children are often first exposed to live instruments and group singing at preschool age. While four and five year-olds are certainly capable of expressing themselves musically, they typically do not benefit from private lessons until they are at least five or six. However, they do tend to thrive in group instruction. Starting a child too soon can result in resentment and a future resistance to learning an instrument. Adults can begin learning at any age so long as they have the discipline and want to practice and learn.
Instruments such as the guitar, bass, drums, or piano are usually available through local private instructors or instrument stores. Vocal coaches can typically be contacted via the local choir director or instrument store as well. For band instruments such as wind, brass, or symphonic percussion, it may be necessary to seek instruction through a local public school band director, or university professor. Vocal coaches usually advertise in local colleges as well.
Most public schools offer classes such as band and choir which offers group instruction. Bands typically involve traditional wind, brass, and percussion instruments, and some schools offer jazz ensemble classes where students can learn to play instruments in a smaller group setting. Choirs also give an environment where students can learn vocal techniques and group performance. Many schools also make private tutoring available to students.
Stringed instruments such as the violin, cello, bass, or viola must discipline and a robust learning environment. Instructors can often be found through a music store or local band and orchestra directors. Some children have shown great skill with stringed instruments at very young ages, so it is important to work with a tutor to decide the child’s interest and level of ability before committing to regular sessions. Some stringed instruments are too large for small children, so take their size into account.
Most voice coaches prefer that vocal students be at least ten years old. Development issues such as size of the child’s lungs and changes in the vocal chords can largely affect the child’s ability to help from instruction at younger ages. Proper breathing techniques are also imperative for successful vocal coaching, and older children are typically more capable of meeting the physical requirements.
Any instrument can be learned privately or with a group. Private lessons usually occur at home or at the teacher’s home. This often proves more convenient in terms of time and scheduling as it allows some flexibility and permits the learner to progress at their own pace. Group instruction has its advantages as well. Peer encouragement and group practice provides a more life playing or singing environment and takes place in a more traditional learning environment.
Whether you decide on group or private sessions, stringed, band, or electric instruments, there are many options of which to take advantage. Find what works best to make your goals and ask informed questions before you start. Music lessons are a rewarding experience that will help you to master the skill of playing an instrument.