Why Students Really Quit

Why Students Really Quit Their Instrument (and how parents can prevent it)

An interesting look at what motivates young musical learners.

Some pertinent quotes as they relate to taking lessons:

Students don’t know how to get better.  Without the proper tools and practice habits to get better at anything, students will become frustrated and want to quit.  It is the role of music educators and parents to give students ownership over their learning.  Teachers must teach students why, how, where, and when to practice, and parents must obtain minimal knowledge about how students learn music in order to properly support them at home.

Most of learning an instrument is learning how to practice, and your private teacher is there to guide you to efficiency in this regard.

Students discontinue playing over the summer.  Statistics show that students who do not read over the summer find themselves extremely behind once school starts — the same goes for playing an instrument!  A year of musical instruction can quickly go down the tubes over the summer vacation if students do not find small ways to play once in a while.  Picking up an instrument for the first time after a long layoff can be so frustrating that a student will not want to continue into the next school year.

I offer summer lessons, and I think they can be some of the most fun. We get more opportunities to play fun things and grow creatively when we can guide our own studies.

The instrument is in disrepair.  A worn down cork, poor working reed, or small dent can wreak havoc on a child’s playing ability.  Sometimes the malfunction is so subtle that the student thinks they are doing something wrong, and frustration mounts.  Students, parents and teachers need to be aware of the basics of instrument maintenance and be on top of repairs when needed.

Instruments that are hard to play are not fun to play. Let me know if your horn needs help, and I will recommend a good repairperson (I know several)!

And parents, I am always available to help you understand what your child is learning from me (and why!).

Happy practicing!

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