#8 What I’ve Learned from Teaching Music: The Beginner Course

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While it is true that individual students will progress at different speeds, it is still very important to have a planned course of material that most can learn in 42 lessons which is what students attend each year for school here in the UK. When I first started giving music lessons I bought some beginner books, and all of them just didn’t seem to have enough material at each stage for the beginner, to be honest they were abysmal, things have improved a bit, but not that much. I eventually used material from different books to find the balance that I felt the student needed to lay a foundation for what was to follow.

When I moved to Perth in 1999 to start a new music school, I decided to put together my own music books, and got them published and printed locally, these  are used to steer the student through beginner, preliminary, grade 1 and grade 2. This four year period is absolutely crucial for the student, because it will give them the knowledge they require if they want to continue playing their instrument to a higher degree of skill.

Music lessons work best on a once a week basis, giving extra lessons for no good reason won’t make any difference as to how the student will progress, because practice is a solitary business, and the earlier the student understands this (note I say understand not telling them) progress will be steady and consistent. In my time I’ve seen some remarkable changes in a student from beginners to advanced students, I think what happens with the student is this, they suddenly start to enjoy their practice and get excited about the new songs they are learning, when this happens you have now acquired a student who will stay with you for as long as possible, they are now a convert to your methods and your best advert for newer students to enrol in your school.

In the next blog I will give you details on how to create a lesson plan.

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