Summer is soon approaching!
As I kid I loved summer vacation. Having no school, homework, projects, tests, and so on was a-mazing! Also having loads of free time to spend with friends and family, play, relax, travel was glorious.
As I child I always continued with my music lessons over the summer. Very often I also participated in music related camps, masterclasses, or other activities. Since I was enamored with music and loved practicing, I don’t know how I would have survived not having any organized music in my life all summer. I always recommend that our students continue with lessons over the summer. Even if it’s only a few lessons spaced sporadically throughout the summer, it makes a huge difference.
Students who do not take lessons over the summer generally need a substantial amount of review once they return to lessons in the fall. This can be avoided by taking lessons and practicing. In the very least, if you do not continue with summer lessons, if you still make time to practice to maintain your skills, that will help immensely.
Here’s why I feel this way:
- You keep up the skills you worked so hard to build over the course of the school year
Let’s face it. If you think about it, you learned so much this past school year! We don’t stop often enough to reflect on how far we’ve come. If you really think about the difficulty of music you were playing last fall and the difficulty of music you can play now, it would probably blow your mind just how much you’ve improved in nine months.
Unfortunately, in music, if you do not keep practicing, your skills will start to backslide. A piece you formerly had mastered can give you trouble. I know this is unfortunate, but it’s how it works with so many things in life– especially playing an instrument.
- There is less pressure
It’s a great time to work on literally whatever you want without the pressure of needing to perfect it for an upcoming performance.
Greater Focus– Without the worries of homework, sports games and practices, and other school-time activities, the students can devote time and attention to their summer music lessons and practice. Better focus leads to better practice!
No Backtracking – When students take a full summer break from their instruments, it only means one thing – time to backtrack in the Fall! Everyone knows that saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” This is true in all disciplines including learning how to play an instrument. Instead of back tracking for the first month or two in the Fall, our students use their summer music lessons to keep making progress.
***Also, it’s a wonderful time for siblings and parents to try lessons.
You’ll know if you want to continue with longer lessons, or have your sibling or parent continue, etc.
Finally, I want to let you in on a little secret about summer lessons. It’s really the best time to get into the schedule of a new teacher. Personally when I moved just before 8th grade, I only got into my incredible new piano teacher’s schedule because I wanted lessons in the summer. Because she had more free time over the summer, she was happy to teach me. When she created her fall schedule after my first summer of lessons, I was added in right away after she accommodated her existing students.
Our teachers always like to accommodate the students they taught the previous year before adding new ones. If any of their previous students quit, you’ll be the first one added into their permanent schedule if you took summer lessons. Just an insider tip!