Your thinking, “What? Is she kidding? “
If you’re a music teacher, you might be annoyed. "She is sabotaging the purpose of my life!"
If you’re a parent of a music student, you may be wondering why you’re spending so much time and money on those private lessons, if “MUSIC LESSONS DON’T WORK”!
A music student may be thinking, “Yes they do. I would have no idea how to play clarinet if it were not for my amazing music teacher.”
Nevertheless, the fact is that music lessons ALONE don’t work.
This of the challenges associated in the pursuit of musicianship:
Daily practice -- having to master a difficult passage
Discouragement -- having to fight the desire to quit
Fear -- having to perform a new piece for the first time
Loneliness -- having to invest hours a week alone with one's instrument
Boredom -- having to repeat a difficult phrase over and over again
A private music lesson does not intrinsically address any of these challenges. This is why so many children who begin music lessons quit. Music lessons alone simply do not work.
There is something more, some convergence of experiences and influences that must come together to overcome the challenge of musicianship.
A music conservatory is a community of Teaching Artists and students who create that "something more".
Students experience so much more than their music teacher for 30 minutes a week.
When they come to the Conservatory, they are surrounded by music and music makers. They experience playing together with their peers as well as those who are more advanced in their discipline.
They hear the promise of the power of music. Although they may be "just beginners" they receive regular positive reinforcement for their hard work.
Because the Conservatory produces professional performances several times a year, students get a vision for where their hard work is taking them. They dream of becoming a "Featured Soloist" someday.
Music lessons really don't work. What transforms children from a noise-makers into a music makers is a Conservatory experience that motivates and inspires them to work hard to achieve the quality of musicianship that is modeled for them every day.
Wanda L. Cook