The Value of a Good Music Teacher

Last week I bought a book called Raising Musical Kids: A Guide for Parents to review, and, if it was good, make available for parents at the School of Performing Arts. I’m only about of a third of the way through the book, but already I can tell that this is going to be much more than a parent recommendation… I’m thinking of asking all of our teachers to read it, too!

I’ll give a full review when I finish the book, but thought I’d take the time to highlight one of my favorite (if self-serving) quotes in the book:

In short, music instruction [during the teen years] will become much more work than ever before. But the reward is in the accomplishments associated with achievement. Unfortunately, this increase of expectations corresponds to the age at which children begin to rebel against rules and authority figures. For many students, this combination results in the stopping of lessons. Private teachers are very aware of this problem, and experienced teachers will do an amazing balancing act between pushing and holding back your child. The maxim that each child is different is never so true as during the teenage years. Good teachers are worth whatever they charge, because they earn it.

Can I get an amen!

Seriously, though, this book is about much more than simply convincing parents to pay up for lessons. With great and helpful chapters such as “What Age to Begin Music Lessons”, “Finding a Good Private Teacher”, “Choosing the Right Instrument for Your Child to Play”, and “Getting Kids to Practice”, this is an eminently helpful guide for parents AND music teachers!

Note: There are at least two other books called Raising Musical Kids. If you’re interested in getting a copy of the one I’m reading, it’s this one. You’re also welcome to check out my copy from the School of Performing Arts, but you’ll have to get in line! Several of my teachers have already asked to read it when I’m finished!

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