When you joined Warren Lessons, you gave your child a wonderful gift that will last the rest of their life.
In my many years of cultivating a program of this level of success, I have come to learn a great deal about how you the parent can provide the most positive experience while helping your child get the most out of his/her lessons with Warren Lessons
My expertise has been in the ability to meet the student where they are at and work with their particular learning style. Because I work with so many kids and teens, I am acutely aware of how different the attention span and ability to take in and apply musical concepts is from where it was even 5 years ago, let alone what we grew up with.
Sometimes, parents may feel frustrated that their child is not practicing as much or as often as they feel they should be for example.
Not to worry. As a professional, it is my job to make sure you the parent, are made aware of how the progress of your child is going. This is a process that takes time and explores a variety of paths along the way to success, as it is not a linear process.
Because we offer several performance camps throughout the year, your child will have every opportunity to show what they have learned to apply.
Rest assured, we have helped many students reach incredible levels of success as future teachers themselves, touring pros, and achieving substantial scholarships when applying to music schools such as Julliard, Berklee, Crane and Belmont.
Playing an instrument well requires effort over a long period of time and progress does not come overnight, even for adults. Time spent regularly and willingly playing and practicing counts far more than anything you might think of as natural talent.
As teacher or parent our job is to encourage that. With that in mind, allow me to suggest some helpful “Dos and Dont’s” from my fellow guitar instructor Kevin Kretsch who teaches in Paris.
THE DO’S AND DON’T S
DO help your child to find the time and space to practice. Time spent with the guitar in their hands is the only path to progress.
DON’T force them to practice if they are too tired or not in the mood. Practicing should be done to make them happy in the future, not to make you or me happy in the present.
DO encourage regular practice. 10 or 15 minutes of practice three or four days a week is far more useful than a rushed hour or half hour just before the next lesson.
DON’T scold them for not practicing. That’s my job as the teacher. Your job is to encourage and enable.
DO compliment good playing and congratulate them for improvement and for practicing.
DON’T scold or criticize them for poor playing. Making mistakes and getting things wrong is an important part of learning to get it right.
DO buy a guitar stand and put the guitar on it. A guitar within easy reach is played far more often. Remember, time spent playing is the only path to progress.
DON’T keep guitars in cases if at all possible. Yes, cases protect guitars, but guitars in cases don’t get played.
DO make sure your child’s guitar is in good condition and playable. Call me when an issue arises – I am an excellent guitar technician and can make sure the instrument is in good playing condition.
DON’T start your child with a guitar from Target or the like, or one that you bought for $30 on eBayy . It will be difficult to tune, difficult to play, and will kill your child’s enthusiasm, possibly forever. If you need help or advice, don’t hesitate to ask me.
DO talk to your child about their lessons. Encourage them to engage with me, to ask questions during their lessons when they need to, and to let you know if they have problems either with the lessons or with practicing at home.
DON’T hesitate to talk to me if there are any issues. Acting quickly to solve problems for your child is great encouragement to them in itself.
DO encourage your child to explore many musical styles and help them start their own musical library.
DON’T criticize their taste in music. It’s perfectly OK to listen to Slipknot and Miles Davis in the same afternoon. Headphones for them and/or earplugs for everyone else make great stocking fillers at Christmas.
DO encourage your child to play for family and friends.
DON’T push them to play for others if they don’t want to. There is nothing wrong with music being their own private journey. What is important is that they are on that journey at all. Pushing too hard will put them off.
No student progresses at at the same rate all the time. Some students pick up the basics in a matter of weeks but their progress may slow for some months after that. Conversely, some students take months to master the basics but may then progress quickly for the following months. Progress is never constant and every student is unique.
Interest will also ebb and flow. No student, whether adult or child, can give all their attention to one thing all of the time. Nor should they.
Finally, enjoyment is just as important as practice. I encourage my students to make clear distinctions between practice time and playing time but to give equal weight to both. Enjoyment and practice need to be balanced. When they are, enjoyment and progress maintain each other.