...even if your school does not offer a music program.
I recently spent a very rewarding half hour watching a show on the Disney Channel with my daughter about the importance of art programs, and specifically music, in schools. The show was about how a school in New York City was about to lose its art programs because of budget cuts. The children of the school came together in a very creative way to save their art programs. It being Disney Channel, of course, the children saved the day and the art programs remained. Sadly, this is not always the case in our schools today. Many schools nowadays have cut their fine arts programs due to budget constraints. However, this does not mean that your children cannot reap the benefits of a musical education. These simple suggestions should help you ensure that your children can get the musical instruction you desire for them.
1. Find a music school in your area.
This is really as easy as flipping open your laptop, and doing a Google search for “music schools.” Google is designed to give you the top hits for your geographical area, so if you are searching in Tehachapi, a school in New York City will definitely not be one of your top hits. I recently did a search for a music school in my area, and up popped a name: “Harmony Road Music School”. This is a great program where young children can learn the basics of the piano in a group setting. And the best part; it was only 3 minutes away from my house! My daughter took a whole semester course with Harmony Road and she loved it.
2. Expose them to music, anywhere and everywhere.
Listen to and enjoy music while you drive! If your child does not know what kind of music she likes, how will she know what kind of instrument she wants to play and learn more about? The only way to explore this is to listen to music. Take your children to live music events. The area I live in has a wonderful, annual event called “Gracefest” where the most popular Christian Bands from around the country come to perform. Recently, after attending such an event, my daughter decided that it is her dream to play the guitar, so now we are in the process of setting her up with guitar lessons; online!
3. Take a course through the internet.
Ah, the wonderful age of technology we live in. Financially, we are not in a position right now to afford to pay a teacher for guitar lessons. My neighbor has been taking piano lessons online for a while, so I asked her if it works. She sat herself down and played “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” (a Mozart composition, by the way) for me on my piano with both hands! This from a woman who a year ago did not know that the musical alphabet only goes up to “G”. If you type into your search engine, “guitar lessons” you will come up with a myriad of hits, one or two of which you are sure to like and find appropriate for your situation. One caution about online instruction is that it requires a little more parental involvement than traditional lessons. I do my daughter’s guitar lessons with her, and am able to correct and help where the computer cannot. Still, for doing it completely free and in the comfort of my own living room, I think it’s worth it.
Albert Einstein said: “Life without playing music is inconceivable to me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music.” I love that Einstein emphasizes his love and enjoyment of music. Yes, the benefits to the intellectual development of your child are without question, but wouldn’t you want your child to be able to make beautiful music just for the joy of it. Music is the language of the soul, learn it, practice it and enjoy it!
Have you seen the benefits of music in your child's life? Do you have a creative way that you've involved your child in music or lessons? Please share.