There are a variety of benefits to and motivations for taking private lessons. Parents should discuss these ideas with their child to help them clarify the reasons behind their desire or decision to study privately.
Some of the obvious student motivations for studying privately could include:
- To become a better musician
- To do well on my next playing test
- To win a scholarship competition
- To become first chair
- To get into youth orchestra, or
- To make it into honor band.
These are immediate and worthy goals. We should also be open to the possibility that we might not want to limit our quest to these ends, but use them as a starting point on our musical journey. Some of the less obvious benefits of private study could be beyond the student’s initial grasp. These benefits might include:
- Learning to solve problems independently
- Learning to work within timelines to complete projects
- Learning to cope with stress
- Learning how to get back on the horse after we fall off
- Learning how to take pride in an accomplishment, or
- Learning how to work as a member of a team.
Further, recent research in brain function shows that participation in a band program helps to allow both halves of the brain to work together, balancing the logical elements of timing, meter and rhythm, and technique associated with the left side of the brain, with the creative interpretation, melody and improvisation associated with the right side of the brain. Such interaction has been associated with advanced academic performance, higher achievements on standardized testing, while the discipline and teamwork involved allow individuals to become valued employees and motivated members of society.