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Which Is Better Among Private Music Lessons and Special Music School?

Parents who decide for themselves on the music education of their children are faced with a very difficult question: “Where should the child study? Should you choose private music lessons or a special musical establishment?”

Of course it is up to you, and both choices are good. Each is good in its own way and has pluses and minuses.

For example, for private music lessons, you can have the teacher come home for giving the lessons, which is very convenient! Second, he can teach the elementary theory of music in combination with the main subject and it will cost you much less than if you were to hire a music theory tutor. Plus, a private teacher will give more comprehensive lessons in music theory, one of the most important lessons in music education! Finally, while studying and perfecting the pieces together, private teachers can participate in a duet with your child and not charge additional payment for it. In musical school, parents pay separately for ensemble lessons.

Now let’s compare the advantages of a private teacher and studying at musical schools or academies.

Unlike private music lessons, where the teacher in a main subject is the one and only authority in music for you, in school, there are quite a few of them because the school offers services in other subjects.

But before we learn a bit more about musical schools, let’s consider the question of pedagogical staff recruitment.

If you have decided to hire a teacher for private music lessons, who will be searching for a good candidate in this case? Most likely, either you will find the teacher, or you’ll use your friends’ advice and their friends’ recommendations. But what criteria should you use while searching for that unique teacher for your child?

If you or your family or friends are professional musicians, then everything will be fine and you don’t need my advice. But, as a rule, parents understand nothing about music education and are easily persuaded and lured into taking private music lessons from just any teacher. All the music teacher has to do is use some specific words not used by regular people in conversation, and it is done. This is what happens in most cases. You also have to acknowledge that although the teacher may be a professional musician, but know nothing about children’s psychology and age-specific features.

The curricula of musical colleges and institutes in the countries of the former Soviet Union had courses in education and psychology, but they were studied just for one year, and as a rule, the future music teachers never looked through those textbooks again. Also, in Canada and the United States, these subjects are not even taught at all! Everything comes only with life experience and long-term practice. Do you want the teacher to use your child as a practice material?

You are lucky if you hire a professional teacher for your child’s private musical lessons, but what if you don’t? In this case I can assure you that you have made one of the first and very serious mistakes. If your child later on decides to quit music, having lost interest in it, you will blame everyone: the child, his friends, the music teacher, but not yourself; although it was you who made this fatal mistake in the very beginning. Why?

Because you didn’t have sufficient information on how to choose a teacher, and took other people’s word for it.

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