Friday, 4 May 2012

Selecting Music For Long Term Lesson Interest

Keeping the interest in music tuition long term is hard.  To really master a musical instrument can take the best part of a decade and many things can get in the way during that time.  One such barrier to long term music is the music that an individual actually WANTS to play while still maintaining a structured music lesson.

One of the most difficult aspects of teaching is to keep this long term interest when students want to play songs they know.  In the early stages there are only so many notes that a student can play and this can also limit the songs that they can play.  Does an adult learner really want to play Mary Had A Little Lamb?

My opinion is very much that having access to a wide variety of sheet music is important.  As well as this it is important to ask the student what it is they would like to play.  This is exactly why we set up the student area on our own website at  We wanted our students to be able to select the songs they wanted to learn and have more of a say in their learning.  This in turn would allow them to play music they enjoy and thus keep that all important long term interest.  Time consuming, yes, but worth it to engage students in the long term.  Over a number of years we would also have a music library that future students would also be able to enjoy and select their own music from.

Although the above sounds good in theory, the hardest thing is to use music that the pupil will know while making it easy enough for them to access in the early stages.  As such we make sure within our music school that the songs are simple enough for students in their first few years.  After the initial stages it is often easier to find music to buy and therefore easier to use appropriate songs that encourage the long term interest of the student.

In future blogs we will look deeper at other issues that can stop the long term development in a musical instrument and ways in which these issues can be overcome from experience.

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