Deciding on a music school for your child can sometimes seem a little daunting. Depending on the area you live in, there could be dozens of music schools to choose from.
Each of them may have a unique perspective on teaching music.Some of them may cost more than others. Still others may offer certain perks that you like. How do you decide between them?
The truth is, there isn’t a cut-and- dried answer. There are many factors that go into finding a music school that feels like the right fit for your child. So where to start? Here are the two primary things you can do right now to get started in finding that perfect music school for your child.
The Teachers and Staff
One of the best things you can do is start with the teachers and staff. Ask if your child will be seeing multiple instructors, or if they will have only one. Whichever the case may be, ask to speak to them. Find out their particular teaching methods and approach to engaging their students – even if you don’t know much about music. It’s always good to have a general understanding of how a teacher works with their students. Is is highly systematic, playful and fun, or somewhere in-between? No one knows your child like you do, so understanding this may give you an idea as to whether your child will enjoy this particular teaching approach or method.
When you meet and speak with the teacher, you can find out more about their credentials. Knowing their experience will also help you in knowing how far that teacher will be able to take your child in their quest for musical knowledge. Maybe you could ask to sit in on a few lessons to get a feel for their knowledge and teaching method. These points are the foundation to making your final decision.
Get a Feel for the Atmosphere
Again, only you know your child, so while you are at the school – get a feel for the atmosphere. By doing this, you will be able to get a feel as to whether your child will be comfortable there. For parents with relatively shy children this is especially helpful. They may still enter the school shy, but the right atmosphere will be able to bring them out of their shell with time and patience.
Some schools have different rules in regards to how students must behave, and how lessons are to be taught. Some find this comforting. Others find it constrictive, and not very inducing to the flow of creativity. Some schools find that allowing their teachers, staff, and students to carry themselves in a more relaxed atmosphere produce better results. They find that by allowing freedom of personal expression, they are creating the perfect atmosphere for creative expression. This results in higherretention rates in regards to lessons long-term.
In fact, according to Herman Miller research solutions, the more active, engaging, and involved the learning methods are, the higher the retention rate. A study performed by the National Training Laboratories found that students who were taught using active and engaging methods retained up to 80% more than other teaching methods.
Other Questions to Ask
Payments + Fees
- Find out about any cancellation policies, fees, etc. There may be 'hidden' fees like registration, or additional charges if electing to pay by month.
- Find out how the cost is justified – what sets them apart.
- What are their policies in regards to missed lessons?
- Are there any evaluation reports that you will be notified of?
- Will you be kept abreast of any progress or issues?
- Will the teacher email me a weekly report of the lesson and what to work on at home?
- What are the practice requirements for at home studies?
- Is music theory or music history incorporated into the lesson?
- Are there opportunities to join bands?
- Is there a summer program?