Posted in Summer

Take the Summer Off?

Back when I took piano lessons, I was allowed to take the summer off of lessons. Honestly, I wish I would have continued over each summer. Why? Well, I’ll unpack that in this post, along with why I think students should continue with lessons over the summer.

 

I think that the hope in taking the summer off of lessons, I’d have a mental break, an opportunity to play fun things on my own over the summer, and then get back to work in the fall. The problem is….I wasn’t self motivated to practice. Being a kid in Wisconsin, there were plenty of other things to do outside in the 3 months of summer. And I wanted to do them than play or practice the piano. Had I continued in lessons, I would have had a goal to work toward, and probably would have been forced to be more motivated.

 

The reality is that when school resumes every fall, the first month or so isn’t learning new things, but reviewing things that were forgotten over the summer with a lack of repetition and keeping skills up. Guess what happens with music lessons? The exact same thing! Yes, summer has more activities and more unstructured time, but there’s more time to practice and keep skills up, so that the student can continue to improve! When I took off for the summer, I found that what I did remember was minimal, and that my technique fell off, because I wasn’t n the regimen of regular review every week by my teacher, let alone regular practice!

 

The thing I hated most every summer was to say to my mother, “I’m bored.” Her automatic response would be not to go outside, but to practice the piano. Did I do it? Rarely. I’d find something else to do. I believe that year round lessons help to keep a student focused and motivated. Based on my experiences, I try to be a lot more relaxed over the summer and let the students pick something fun to work on, something that they want to play! When students have a say in what they’re learning, they will be much more motivated to put in the time and work to improve.

 

So, yes, summer lessons are helpful. The way that I’ve structured things in my studio is that my 2 main semesters are each 5 months with a total of 18 lessons in each semester. My summer is June and July, for 6 weekly lessons. It doesn’t seem like a significant amount of time, but those 6 weeks (or 4, depending on the schedule of the student) are essential to keeping their skills up and keeping music fresh in their mind.

 

I do offer lessons online, as well as in the Spring/Klein area of Northwest Houston. Summer is also a great time to start piano, voice, trumpet, beginning guitar or ukulele lessons, so add it into your consideration if you’re still looking for activities for your child (or you) for the summer. You can find out more here.

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