Back to School – Get the most from lessons

Back-To-School-LessonsWe want to help you practice better. Our newsfeed will keep you up to date with regular advice. Free personal help is available in our practice clinic and new news and offers can be found in our newsletter.

Music lessons are important when you first start to learn an instrument. Be aware however that you need to do more than turn up once a week. If you just go through the motions then you will most likely not improve.

Specific to you

If you have the chance to select your own teacher then try to speak to people that they already teach. Find out if they teach all their students the same things in the same way. If they do you might want to think about looking elsewhere.

Your lessons need to be focused on the things that you need to improve and also take you towards your ambitions, not your teachers.

This is one of the biggest drawbacks of group or band teaching. It is not individual. Whilst you can get started in this way it is always preferable to get individual instruction.

Two way

You need to be ready to take an active part in all your lessons. If you sit passively and let the teacher tell you what to do and how then you are not making the most of your lesson. Worse still your teacher will believe that you have understood everything they have said.

Instead, get involved with your lesson. Ask for clarification when needed, discuss elements that interest you, talk about music that you like, ask why you are doing something, try your own ideas out. Your teacher will be overjoyed at your interest and you will learn faster because you will be part of the learning process.

Be Prepared

Being prepared for lessons applies to the obvious things like having your instrument, music, correct time and location and anything else you need to take to the lesson.

It also means making sure that you have attempted the practice that your teacher has set for you. Teachers do not expect you to be note perfect by the time you go to the next lesson. But they do ask that you have tried.

If there are things that didn’t go well in practice, that’s fantastic. It gives your teacher some great clues as to how to set your practice for the next week. The trick is to make sure you tell your teacher what you did, what went wrong and why you think it didn’t work. With these clues your teacher can work out how to fix things. Without them they will be guessing.

So be prepared to tell your teacher in detail about your practice and also to ask any questions that you’ve had over the week.


Lessons are over very quickly. Your teacher will have tried to pass onto you lots of information. It is then up to you. You are now your own teacher for the rest of the week. Think about it. Your lesson may last 30 minutes. That leaves 165 other hours each week when your teacher isn’t there.

Make sure that your brief lessons give you the information you need to teach yourself for the rest of the week.

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