There exists a common misconception that if one has not learnt to play a musical instrument by a certain age then he/she never will. According to us, No one is too old to learn to play music. It is true that young people absorb learning and instruction more quickly and easily than adults, but the fact is that mature age students have the advantages of greater concentration and genuine interest.
It is important to keep in mind though, that adults have less time on their hands than young people and getting the most out of music lessons takes regular practice. Playing in a band or making a career out of music may not be your reason for taking music lessons. However, great personal satisfaction and a real sense of achievement are two of the benefits that can be gained from your involvement with music lessons.
If you are thinking of learning to play an instrument, the vast array of musical instruments to choose from can be both daunting and overwhelming, particularly for a beginner. Every instrument has its own unique rewards and difficulties. You may find that some instruments are easier to play at first than others but ultimately, no instrument is easier or more difficult to play well than any other.
It may be wise to consider the type of instrument you or your child have always wanted to play or what type of music you or your child listen to and enjoy before making your decision. Another thing to keep in mind is that the cost of an instrument should never be a deterrent to starting music lessons. Etude School of Music has a comprehensive music instrument and equipment catalogue catering to student requirements.
At Etude School of Music, it is our belief that learning to read music is an important and valuable skill for a musician. Learning to read music is in fact much easier to learn than most people believe is possible and is a significant step toward eventually being able to play, sing or even write any song you want.
Additionally, Learning to read music gives a musician or student access to many thousands of tunes gathered over the years. Whether it is classical, folk, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, techno or rock, music is recognised and written in the same way throughout the world.
Music education consists of 4 basic elements.
Many musicians with busy lives get bogged down when they commit to an unrealistic practice schedule. There’s no rule that says you won’t improve if you don’t practice a certain amount per day. Challenge yourself to prioritize smart practice over hard practice.
Solution: Set a realistic practice time. Let’s take this scenario. You are a keyboardist and want to improve your improvisational skills, and you know you need to brush up on major scales. Do you think you’ll get better by practicing an hour one day and then not practicing the next three because you get too busy, or by staying consistent with practicing 15 minutes a day for four days? The latter will always yield better results.
Lesson: The best goal is a realistic one, not an ambitious one.
Challenge: Set the timer for a realistic time goal and practice. Force yourself to obey the timer. When the time is up, you are done — no more, no less. .
This is a struggle that never ends. You may find yourself starting a practice session working on scales, and then five minutes later you’re seeing how fast you can play a piece you’ve already learned. This breakdown of focus is ineffective.
Solution: Set realistic goals. Let’s revisit our scenario. Say you commit to 20 minutes of practice a day for five days a week. Your goal is to learn six or more keys in a week. By the end of the week, you see no real progress. This leads to practicing less the next couple of weeks until you become discouraged and stop. The issue is that this goal was unrealistic, even for 20 minutes a day. The other issue is the phrase “or more.” This means you set an approximate goal, rather than a specific one. Now you kind of know about six major scales and don’t have a real grasp on one. A more realistic goal would be to pick one or two scales and don’t move on until they’re solid.
Lesson: Find the peace and self-respect in being patient with yourself and knowing that it’s okay to take your time to learn something correctly, rather than quickly.
Challenge: Practice one thing during your designated time. It can be anything — a song, scale, technique, chord voicing, etc. Don’t stray from it until the timer is up. Then, as a reward, have a free play session afterward. Make this your fun time and play whatever you want.
Practicing can be like driving a car. Remember how new and fun it was at 16 years old? Then you encounter such things as work commutes, car maintenance, tickets, etc. Practicing can also get boring when it doesn’t feel new anymore — excitement vanishes, and it starts to feel like the only things left are obstacles and the bland taste of routine.
Solution: Be creative in your practice. Let’s go back to our scenario one more time. You already practice your scales up and down, loud, soft, with both hands, but you’re growing tired of practicing the same way. Solution? Add some creativity in your practice, especially because your ultimate goal is to become a better improviser. (A good improviser can take any given material, such as a scale, and use it to be creative and musical.) Here are a few possibilities: Play the scale with an accent every third note, then fourth, fifth, etc. Start your right hand on the third, which puts your hands at the interval of a tenth. Make up a rhythm and run the entire scale with that rhythm. Arpeggiate the scale in seventh chords. Combine two or more of these together. As you can see, there is no limit when you practice creatively.
Lesson: Creativity should be present in performance and practice.
Challenge: Take whatever you’re working on this week and find a new way to practice it. Be like a kid in a sandbox and explore!
The length of time that it takes to learn and master an instrument is dependent on your own effort and commitment. The greater the effort and commitment, the more rapid the progress. Learning an instrument is an ongoing process. Even music instructors and the finest performers in the world are still learning.
Beginner classes are designed to get you started in the right direction and provide a foundation for you to get you playing and enjoying your instrument - in just 12 sessions.
In both Classical and Contemporary streams, the only widely recognised qualification for students is the graded examination. Students wishing to make careers of music generally pass through several graded examinations measuring musicianship, technique and theoretical knowledge before going on to take any performing or teaching assignments. Examinations are a way of measuring musical progress, but they are not the only method - and they are not for every student!
At Etude School of Music, we provide proper guidance about various graded examinations and leave the decision of whether or not to sit an exam entirely up to instructor and student, or instructor and parent.
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Regular attendance is expected of all students, understanding that illness, family emergency or religious observation may require lesson or class cancellation. Students/parents are requested to provide 24hrs notice when possible, if you cannot attend a lesson or class. The School shall endeavour to arrange compensatory classes for students who avail leave of absence with permission, subject to availability of the instructor.