Complete Guide to Getting Started with Music Lessons

Learning music can truly be a portal into another universe. Opening the mind to the beauty of music can tap into a feeling of joy unlike any other. But where does one start on this journey?

The benefits of learning a musical instrument are well documented. In order to get the most out of the experience, selecting the right instrument, selecting a music teacher, making time, debunking myths, and finding support are just a few of the critical things to consider before taking the leap.

Private music lessons are typically the best and easiest way to make the music learning journey a smooth one. An experienced teacher can introduce a student to the types of instruments, the pros and cons, and what might make the best choice to get started. Before we take that first step, here is everything you need to know about music lessons.

Why should you learn an instrument?

young man playing the keyboardLearning music is fun. It’s that simple. But that is hardly the only benefit of learning an instrument. And musical instruments are for everybody. Anyone can learn a musical instrument at any age. The list of benefits is long and scientifically proven, so you’ll rarely find any debate.

Learning music improves mental processing speeds, delays cognitive decline, and sharpens mental acuity. It’s like weight training for your brain. The effect can have long lasting impacts on cognitive abilities well into adulthood. Learning music has been proven to improve school and work performance, so if high test scores are on your wish list: take music lessons. Colleges and universities definitely take note, and it’s well documented that extensive experience in music is a great addition to any application for college admission.

Beyond the brain boosting power, music lessons aid in stress relief and increase overall emotional well-being. Those that engage in music education are shown to be more emotionally balanced with higher self-esteem. The confidence it can give you, from tapping into your creative imagination, goal setting, discipline and hard work, is invaluable. It is vital for parents to encourage kids to learn music, not just for a great hobby, but for life long skills that will translate into a more successful and fulfilling life ahead.

Music lessons also help develop both gross and fine motor skills in kids and adults. Learning music at an early age can help with physical development as well as teach problem solving skills. There is tremendous value in it, and ignoring the myths about music lessons will make it easier than you think to find success.

What should you consider before you take music lessons?

Parents can help prepare kids for learning music in a myriad of ways. Asking questions, setting expectations, creating a routine, and involving children in the decision making process are great ways to show support. Enabling a smooth and positive experience will help boost interest, and making time for music lessons will show kids the value and importance of keeping it in their lives.

It’s important for parents to consider important decisions like the right instrument, finding the right teacher, and deciding the best venue for lessons (in-home or online). These decisions can have a substantial impact on the success of lessons in general. Ultimately, supporting music lessons for children will have a positive effect on their growth and development, while ensuring better long-term personal commitment..

How do you select which instrument to learn?

Young boy taking online guitar lessonPicking an instrument to play is fun. From school orchestra and band, to casual rock bands and new hobbies, learning music opens a symphony of possibilities to discover. Some instruments are common in just about all settings and ensembles types, and some are fairly unique to specific types of music. Based upon the reason and motivation to start music lessons, choosing the instrument could be as simple as what you enjoy listening to or what is physically easier to play. The reasons will be unique to each person, so there is not one criteria that fits everyone.

Those interested in joining an orchestra may find learning strings very appealing. Instruments like violin, viola, cello, and bass are very common in orchestral settings, along with various percussion and double reeds like oboe, bassoon, and english horn. Selecting an instrument for band may have you considering brass instruments like trumpet, trombone, euphonium, french horn and tuba. You can also pick from various woodwinds for a band instrument  like saxophone, clarinet, and flute, or various percussion instruments.

It’s common to find pianos and keyboards in both orchestra and band, as well as solo, chamber, and popular, contemporary music. Piano and keyboard blur the lines of instrument families, with debate over whether it’s technically a string or percussion instrument. Regardless, it’s one of the most popular instruments to learn with repertoire spanning hundreds of years across dozens of timer periods and styles.

Beyond instrumental studies, voice is the oldest instrument of all and some may argue the most difficult to master. We’re all equipped with one, but some can certainly use it better than others. Lessons can help with pitch matching, breathing, posture, technique, and power. Understanding the key elements of vocals is the most important first step, followed by working with an experienced voice teacher who can help with all the technical aspects.

How do you select the right music teacher?

Getting started with music lessons means finding the right teacher. From personality and professionalism, to communication skills, commitment, and consistency, the right music teacher will inspire you to set goals and motivate you to reach them through dedication and hard work.

Before selecting a music teacher, it’s important to decide between in-home lessons or virtual, online lessons. There are pros and cons to each, and both can be extremely effective and productive. Regardless, making each successful requires forethought and preparation.

In-home music lessons can offer many benefits and advantages that online lessons can’t. Having someone beside you to help with the technical aspect of playing can be invaluable if these are music lessons for beginners. Conversely, online lessons have advantages like convenience and affordability that can be perfect for many. Getting the most out of online lessons will help make the experience more enjoyable and rewarding.

How do you make time for lessons?

Finding the time to dedicate to learning music can often be a challenge for many. Whether a child in school or an adult with a busy schedule, making time for lessons should be a priority. It’s possible to make the time even if you’re insanely busy with work or school. Developing good habits, being consistent, setting goals, and being creative with your time will help any busy person develop strong skills in a short period of time.

We can even find time to practice without actually sitting (or standing) with our instrument. Learning music theory and familiarizing ourselves with key terminology is an important part of being literate in music. Understanding general music terminology will help when interpreting pieces of music, and learning to perform at a high level.

What should you know before you buy an instrument?

Once you have decided that you want to reap the benefits of taking music lessons, selected what instrument you would like to learn and decided on your music teacher, your next step is purchasing your instrument.

closeup shot of several guitarsWhen purchasing an instrument, it is important to do your homework. Knowing important features, choosing the correct size, and having a budget in mind will lead you down the right path in choosing the best instrument to fit your needs. Many instruments require additional parts and pieces sold separately, like reeds, sticks, picks, and straps. Some come in a variety of shapes and sizes like digital keyboards and guitars.

Budget is a pretty important factor when looking to purchase a new instrument. Certainly, more expensive instruments tend to have better quality, construction, and resale value. But some very budget-friendly instruments are made extremely well, so it’s not necessary to entirely sacrifice quality while saving money.

Guitar is one of the most popular instruments, but the variety of types of guitars can be mind-numbing. From acoustic to electric, flattop to archtop, nylon to steel string, finding the right one will help you achieve the sound you’re looking for. Consider these tips when buying a new guitar with general guidelines to follow based on specific needs and preferences.

Pianos and keyboards are also incredibly popular. While pianos can be tens of thousands of dollars and a prohibitive burden in terms of portability and price, keyboards can solve both of those obstacles. When purchasing a keyboard, size and features are very important, as the options on the market differ greatly. From 61-key MIDI compatible keyboards to 88-key digital upright pianos, the features and possibilities are overwhelming. It’s very important to consider needs, space, and purpose when buying a new keyboard.

Complete guide for music lessons

From what to play and how to play it, Forbes Music is a complete guide for music lessons. Supported by incredible people who absolutely love music and teaching, Forbes Music has the resources, knowledge, and background to make any music learning experience unforgettable.

Learning and playing music is a rewarding journey. There are so many choices as far as instruments, methodologies, styles of music, repertoire, and more. It’s critical to prepare accordingly and get sage advice from those who understand not all paths are the same, and there are countless ways to reach your goals and achieve success.

Working with a great teacher who inspires you to get better, and who opens your mind to exploring the wide world of music should be a priority. So let’s find the best instrument, consider the preparation, make the time, and choose the best teacher that will help you get there. If you’re looking for where to start, remember Forbes Music Company can help.

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