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Getting the most out of Music Lessons Part 2

Below is part 2 of a guest blog by one of our teachers, Wendy. Wendy teaches Guitar and Ukulele, but also enjoys writing! Thanks Wendy for your contribution to our blog.

Getting the Most Out of Your Private Music Lessons
by Wendy Jeffries

3. Do the Exercises. Practicing even five minutes a day each of your scales, your chords (if applicable), and your practice piece of music, will bring steady improvement. Lessons are tailored to go at the student’s pace and really build on what is done during the week between meeting times. The lesson is really there for a chance to give the student direction and instruction as well as some clarification. But the real work should be happening between those sessions. The more improvement happens between lessons, the more quickly the lessons progress. This aspect, the rate of progress, really depends on the student more than the teacher (as long as you have a competent and effective instructor).

4. Get Organized. Keep a folder for all your handouts. This saves you from spending time trying to find your music, and instead gives you more time to draw from your instructor’s experience.

5. Make Mistakes. Loudly. I learned this one by experience. You can go a long time without improving a mistake or poor habit, thereby actually ingraining it into the way you sing or play. If you sing softer or play sloppy, for example, to cover up aspects of the music or the technique you don’t understand or haven’t yet mastered, you may feel you’re avoiding embarrassment, but it will actually only hurt in the long run. (As a teacher if I notice this happening, I’ll call you on it.) Try new things. When they work, celebrate. When they don’t, laugh, ask how to improve and know that you’re learning faster than those who aren’t willing to fail loudly.

6. Have Fun. Music is meant to be pleasurable. Enjoy it. Pick out songs you want to learn, that make you feel good. It can be easy to get caught up in the idea that practice is work and goals take work. But making music, even if it’s playing scales always has an element of fun to it, if you let yourself soak it in.

7. Bake your teacher cookies. Oh, wait. Maybe that should be on a different list…

Wendy’s Profile:

The Musicality Network is a Portland, Oregon based network of private music teachers, teaching a wide variety of instruments including Piano lessons, Guitar lessons, Drum lessons, Violin lessons, Voice lessons, and more! Our teachers can drive to your house, and we service the entire Portland Metro Area, including Vancouver, Clackamas, Troutdale, Gresham, Tigard, Beaverton, Tualatin, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Oregon City and more!

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