1.  Start at the Right Age

For children, starting at the right age is very crucial to their success.  If a child is put into lessons too soon, he/she may feel overwhelmed and frustrated.  Sometimes if a child waits a year to start lessons, progress can be much easier.  (               for recommended ages of each instrument.)  Children who are older than the suggested earliest starting age usually do very well.  Note:  Children under the age of 8 need more "parental involvement" at home.  ​Adults may start any instrument at any time.  Their success is based on how willing they are to commit to practicing.        

5.  Use Recognized Teaching Materials

Teaching materials are developed by professional music educators for students of specific ages and abilities.  These materials ensure that concepts are learned in a systematic and cohesive manner.  If you move to a different part of the country, qualified teachers will recognize the materials and be able to continue from where the previous teacher stopped.

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2.  Private Lessons vs. Group Lessons

Group classes work well for preschool music programs and singing groups.  When it comes to learning an instrument, however, private lessons are the best choice.  One-on-one instruction provides students with individualized teaching geared towards their own needs and interests.

These guidelines are to help students have a successful, rewarding experience learning an instrument; tips we have discovered from years of teaching students.

Above all else, have fun!

Music should be something that you enjoy for a lifetime.  Be realistic in your expectations and enjoy your musical journey.

Dixon Music studio

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Music Lessons

3.  Take Lessons in a Professional Teaching Environment

Learning music in an environment that is focused on music education is just as important as having a qualified teacher.  In a professional teaching environment, students are not distracted by "outside stimuli" (T.V., pets, siblings, ringing telephones, etc.); the student can focus fully on learning.  Students are also motivated by hearing other students at different levels and by being exposed to a variety of musical instruments.

4.  Make Practicing Easier

In order to improve in music, students must practice.  Remember the "3 R's" to take the "drudgery" out of daily practicing.

  • Routine  

        Set aside the same time each day for practice so it becomes part of a routine; generally, the earlier in the day, the better the results.

  • Repetition

       Instead of using a time frame (practice for 30 minutes), focus on repetition (play the song 5 times).  This works especially well

        with children as they can focus on the number of times they play a piece (or a section of music), instead of "watching the clock".

  • Rewards

        Remember to reward yourself occasionally for your work and progress.  This works very well for students of all ages.  Set up

        occasional rewards for successful practicing.  Don't rule out praise---there is just no substitute for a word of encouragement or a pat

        on the back.