Learning Music: Individual vs. Group lessons
Taking up music lessons is a great decision at any age! If you want to sign up your kid for music lessons, you probably know already some of the many benefits it has for its well-being: music increases their attention span, their learning skills, and it gives them plenty of opportunities for their social interaction. Music offers children and adults alike a wonderful means of expression. But is it better to learn alone with a private tutor, or to take group lessons?
Last week, we already provided an overview of the advantages that private music lessons offer to your child, even if she already has music as one of their school subjects. Today, we will compare the pros and the cons of studying music in private, individual lessons, or to become a part of a music group (whether music assembles of any kind, a rock band, an orchestra, or a chorus). As when choosing the perfect musical instrument or selecting the tutor for your kid, there is not one single answer, but it depends on what are your child’s main interests, personality, previous music experience, and most importantly, their learning goals.
Individual music lessons
The most important fact is that individual lessons are specifically designed to suit each student’s learning goals. If you sign up your kid for private music lessons, she will make progress faster, as the teacher is there to follow her pace, providing different exercises, speeding things up or slowing things down according to her advances. If she has some difficulties, she won’t feel she’s been left behind, and if she learns fast, the teacher will also prompt!
Besides, individual music lessons also rest upon the child’s specific musical interests: your child will have a saying in the repertoire (although she should also pay attention to the suggestions the experienced teacher makes). A motivated child will take more time to practice between lessons, and move forward faster than someone who just plays along because the group decided on a certain song.
When it comes to scheduling lessons, take into account that individual lessons are far easier to be rescheduled if notified on time. On the other hand, if your child misses the group lesson because she has a dentist’s appointment or gets sick, you’ll still have to pay for the lesson and won’t get rescheduled. Last but not least, individual music lessons are usually shorter than group lessons: for children, they usually last between 30 minutes to one hour. This may or may not be an advantage, depending on your child’s attention span.
When you should sign your kid up for individual music lessons
Consider taking your child to a private, individual music lesson if:
- Your child is naturally talented with her instrument, and you want her to take full advantage of her skills. In a group, the teacher cannot move faster than the slower children, so if your child learns really quickly, she might get bored if stuck in a slower group.
- The other way round works just as well: if your child takes a long time to acquire new abilities, if she’s shy or insecure, she may feel exposed when playing music together with other children. An individual music lesson may help her develop confidence and take all the time she needs to make progress at her pace.
- If your child has irregular schedules (for instance, if they are homeschooled, and you often take trips or excursions), it may become easier to adjust her timetable to a private music teacher than to group practices. In any case, you should always arrange beforehand with the tutor, and if you need to cancel or reschedule, give the tutor enough time so they can book another class that day.
Group music lessons
Playing in a group is great for those students who are looking forward to having fun, social bonding, and performing in front of others. When two or more students learn music together, they may not get the personalized attention and the tailored lessons of the private student. But they do get plenty of opportunities to listen to others playing, learning important skills such as improvising and following directions, and most importantly, being team players!
Group lessons are great if you want your child to connect with others through music. For homeschooled children, being in a band or an orchestra provides them a great opportunity to make new friends and socialize. Shy children may benefit because they are not as exposed as when playing solo, and usually children who take group lessons lose stage fright way faster!
Of course, if your child makes some mistakes or has difficulties, the teacher won’t have so much time to correct them. However, children who play in groups can learn from their classmates as well as from their tutor and are usually more motivated to keep practicing later at home. And take into consideration these two aspects of group lessons that you may or may not believe to be advantages: they are longer than individual lessons (they may take two, or up to three hours), and they focus on learning songs or pieces, not so much about technical aspects that withdraw some young students from music.
When you should sign your kid up for group music lessons
Consider taking your child to a group music lesson if:
- She wants to have fun more than anything during the activity; she’s not concerned about being perfect but about enjoying herself with her instrument.
- She likes having lots of opportunities for performing her instrument in front of an audience, instead of practicing the same notes, scales or digitations over and over in the privacy of her bedroom.
- She needs extra motivation for practicing in between lessons; you already found out she doesn’t commit so much when she takes her lessons alone.
- You are currently on a tight budget: group lessons are usually cheaper than private, individual lessons.
As you can see, taking individual music lessons or taking group music lessons both offer their benefits and what’s best for your child depends on her personality and her learning goals, as well as the family schedule and budget.
In any case, whether you want a private teacher or someone who can teach a music group, sign up today in Nabi Music and find exactly what you are looking for!