Thursday, May 12, 2011

Why Are Music Lessons So Important When Starting a New Instrument?

One thing that separates aspiring musicians from a few decades ago from their contemporary counterparts is the value of the internet; there are invaluable resources there that would have benefited the players of yesteryear. However, especially when beginning to seriously undertake an instrument, there is absolutely nothing that can come close to replacing the guidance of a professional teacher. This is true for several reasons.

Music teachers are more than a passive resource you try to take from. They listen to you, watch, judge, and speak back to you reflectively. With years of training under their belt, they can quickly identify flaws in a beginner’s technique. Perhaps the most important thing they do is determine what not to learn first. It’s essential that the student be given moderate tasks suitable to their experience, inclinations, and interest level.

Nothing on the internet can possibly take these considerations into account and provide the appropriate lesson. Only a proper teacher can. Depending on these things, as well as the student’s commitment to practice and their desire to challenge themselves, the teacher can construct the ideal lesson. It’s up to a human to judge what the student is capable of, and then to find that proper balance between pushing enough, but not too much.

As well, teachers provide inspiration in the way they play the instrument themselves and the feedback and encouragement they provide. People have seen the most incredible accomplishments on a computer screen somewhere, and after a while they don’t seem or feel real. But when you’re in a room with someone who is actually responsible for the incredible guitar sounds you’re hearing it bridges that gap between fantasy and a potential reality.

In other words, it seems possible to do it yourself.

It’s invaluable having a professional who can utilize the internet’s guitar resources properly. Thinking about it this way, professional teachers have never been given such a chance to make their students succeed! Like everything else, guitar lessons are oversaturated and an unarmed novice is ill equipped to separate the useful from the useless, the appropriate from the overly challenging, and the amateur lessons from the professional tips. To them, it all looks the same.

Some of the reasons for needing teachers are even more basic. Guitars frequently go out of tune, and keeping them sounding right can be a great source of frustration for beginners who don’t know why their chords don’t sound right. Frequently, they incorrectly blame themselves, and their frustration stymies their development. What a tragedy! It’s hard to overemphasize the impact of something so small and trifling. With a teacher, this problem doesn’t exist. There are countless other hurdles students of various instruments can run into—how to properly set up a reed in an alto sax, technique for trumpet blowing. There are innumerable pitfalls teachers help students avoid, thereby saving them time, accelerating their development, and most importantly, making them have fun on their instrument!

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