At some point in our life, we have probably been impressed with someone who plays a musical instrument. Be it a concert artist at the Esplanade concert hall, a friend at a bar or even by your neighbor’s kids. Have you ever wondered what costs have these people made to acquire the skill? How much does it take to learn a musical instrument? I believe, the true cost of learning a musical instrument is not about the fee you pay every month, it’s about the time and effort you put in everyday. Music lessons are investments that last a lifetime.
Parents have a crucial role to play, in shaping the future of their children, have that, there would be no down. We have always been looking for classes that would benefit our children for a lifetime, and Music classes have been proven to be a powerful tool for a child’s development.
Music lessons offer two types of benefits. The tangible and intangible. Tangible are success stories that you can see. This is when your child can finally play his/her favorite piece. You get to enjoy good music from your child’s performance. On the other hand, intangible benefits are inner victories that your child will have. Such victories include good character by instilling values like discipline, hard work and perseverance. Being confident and being emotionally expressive are things that cannot be easily seen but you know in yourself that you are on a journey on being better at it. Not only does music help on instilling values but it also helps on the cognitive development of the child through concentration, problem-solving and through listening. Aside from that, it also helps on motor development through coordination in movement and building strength and stamina. Music is in everything. It is the universal language for a reason. Music encompasses everything that makes us human – physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. Being a musician is a lifestyle.
There are many learning paths one can take in the journey of learning Music. First of which is choosing the instrument. But today I will be sharing with you the instrument that I am passionate about – the violin. There are different ways on how someone can learn the violin. Some of which are Suzuki, Kodaly, and Traditional method. In a nutshell, Suzuki is about learning through listening and imitating. Kodaly is about learning through singing, and visual memory perceptions and Traditional method prioritizes heavily on technical development. However, these methods are not mutually exclusive. Each has their differences and strengths and Aureus is a school that combines these strengths for a customized lesson for your child.
In Aureus, teachers are not slaves to a curriculum. Each teacher offers the balance of what the student wants and of what they need. But a general look on how the violin lessons go can be divided into 3 different categories. First is Technique, which will be about your posture in playing, your bow technique etc. Second will be the, Fundamentals in Music, which would consist of Music Theory, ability to Sight-read, Aurals etc. And Lastly, Music as an Art, or the art of interpreting music through performance. All of these are not necessarily a prerequisite to the other; these three can be in one lesson all at the same time. Needless to say, Aureus teachers have a reputation on building the best-customized lesson plan that includes all these categories and are presented in a way that the students get to enjoy the process of learning.
A lot of parents hesitate to send their children for music lessons because of their concern whether if their child is ready or not. But based on my experience as a teacher, as long as your child can read and write letters; and count numbers, you are good to go. Having this said, committing yourself to learn violin as a beginner isn’t always a bed of roses. Violin has its reputation of having the steepest learning curve among all western musical instruments. Your role as a parent is to lovingly help them understand that there is always a rainbow after the rain.
Aside from the weekly music lessons, it’s imperative that your child practices at home to ensure a healthy progress. It’s essential that they have their own personal violin. Violin prices range from $100 to as high as $16 million. There are different sizes of violins for different age groups. The right size should be observed at all times, as it will have an effect with the growth of your child. I believe that investing in a good quality instrument is important in their growth as a musician. But you might want to invest in a good instrument when your child is ready for the full-size violin. On the other hand, cheap doesn’t necessarily mean that it is bad quality. When searching for the right violin, some of the factors to consider are the bridge of the violin and the sound. The bridge should never be flat or near a flat. It is advisable to try different violins to find the sound that is right for you.
To quote Willium Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”. As a parent, we are always thinking of how we can help nurture the gifts our children have. We are thinking of ways on how we can help motivate them. How do we keep the fire burning in them? Some of the ways we use as motivators are through performances and recitals. Performances can be divided into solo and ensemble playing. Solo performances help boost confidence. It gives purpose for their practice. Solo performances are your child’s way of sharing their talent to the world; of expressing themselves through music. This is their way of sharing a part of them, of what they feel, and of what they would want you to feel; it is one way of sharing oneself -their music, to you. Meanwhile, ensemble playing or chamber music is performing in a group setting. This is a fantastic source of motivation for kids to further improve their craft in a way that they share with many other like-minded people the same love they have for music. Throughout the years of my career as a performer in a symphony orchestra, I can be certain that this is the magical place where new friendships are forged and great ideas are exchanged.
Everyone should be able to receive the gift called music. Music helps us appreciate life as an aesthetic experience. That for me is one of the best gifts you can offer your child right now. No one has ever regretted picking up an instrument and learn how to read music. In retrospect, someday when your children grow up, they will appreciate your effort of nurturing the seed of music during their childhood and reap the benefits that last a lifetime. The journey of being a musician is tough, adventurous and fun, but it all begins with a single step. Help your child take their first step today!