Making the Most of Your Music Lessons

guitar lessonHere at TakeLessons, we have the opportunity to work with numerous people who are embarking on their musical journeys.  Some want to take lessons so they can learn to sing like Beyonce, and some are looking to develop guitar skills that rival those of John Mayer.  While each student’s motivation for taking lessons is different, making the commitment to take music or voice lessons is only the beginning.

Once you have taken the step to enroll yourself (or your child) in music lessons, your focus may turn towards how to get the most out of your lessons.  Most TakeLessons students meet with their instructors once a week, for anywhere from 30-60 minutes at a time.  These sessions will fly by, so it is important to maximize the limited amount of time you have to work with your instructor.  The following tips will help you to prepare, progress, and make the most of your music lessons:

1. Find the right instructor.  One of our main goals at TakeLessons is finding the right instructor to fit your needs.  There are many factors our student counselors consider when placing a student with a teacher – age, location, skill level and style, to name a few.  When teacher and student personalities don’t mix, valuable time that should be spent learning is lost, and for new students, the instrument itself can even become a source of frustration.  Working with a teacher that you mesh with will allow your lessons to flow more smoothly and allow you to get more out of each lesson.  This is also the reason that we offer a 100% money back guarantee to new TakeLessons students; we know how important finding the right student/teacher dynamic is, and we want to make sure you are working with the instructor that’s the best possible fit for you. If you feel like switching music teachers might be necessary, just give us a call.

2. Come prepared.  Before arriving at your lesson, take a few minutes to relax and prepare your voice for singing, or your hands for playing music.  Stretch, do vocal warm-ups, and perhaps most importantly, try to clear your mind of all distractions so you are ready to focus on the task at hand – learning your instrument.  You’ll be surprised at how approaching each lesson with a positive attitude and an open mind will directly impact your success.

3. Take notes and ask follow up questions.  It may be difficult (okay, impossible) to take notes while you are actually singing or playing an instrument.  As part of the TakeLessons program, your instructor will keep track of any notes regarding what is covered during each lesson and will upload them in your online lesson journal.  You can then refer back to your journal as you practice to see what you should be working on.  At the same time, if you think of questions between lessons be sure to write them down so you can get answers from your teacher the next time you meet.

4. Practice, practice, practice.  To fully reap the benefits of your music lessons, practice is essential.  As a student, you cannot continue to evolve and master the musical skills you are learning from your instructor if you don’t put in any extra practice time outside your lessons.  When you are practicing, find a quiet place free of distractions where you can give your undivided attention to your instrument.  Focus on truly learning and understanding the techniques and methods your instructor has taught you, rather than just playing songs.  Pretty soon you will develop a routine, and the results will become apparent with each lesson you take!

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- 5 Excuses for Not Practicing – and How to Overcome Them
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