When people are looking for services on google, the words “…near me” are contained in 4-8x more searches than not. We all want convenience and these words represent it. The question brings to mind, “is quality sacrificed for convenience?” Is there a cost for that convenience? I think it depends on the service. Changing your car battery may be less critical than, say, seeing an orthopedist.
But what about guitar lessons for your child? Is a deep music education experience worth a few more minutes in traffic? The answer to that is, “it depends.” It depends on how one uses that time.
Rather than the trip being a hurdle to go through before and after the lessons, the time to and from the music lesson can be very valuable for you and your child. It can actually be the start of the lesson.
Here are some things to think about:
• You have a captive audience! How often do you get that?
• You can find out what your child thinks of his or her music teacher or the others in the class. It will change as the student changes.
• You can discover whether your child thinks he or she is prepared for the lesson. Then, if you attend the lesson, you can see how accurate your child is.
• You can find out if they feel encouraged or discouraged about the week’s practice.
• You can tell how rigid your child’s preferences are becoming as they comment on the music they are learning. (Preferences rigidify from ages 5-14 along with the growth of style-perception).
• On the way home you can have the child reiterate what the goals are for the week. Saying it out loud helps the memory. If you hear “I don’t know,” that is worth communicating with your instructor. If you attend the lesson you will be able to tell the student. If you don’t know, that is the Instructor’s mistake. Remind the teacher to set goals for the week.
• You can ascertain whether your child needs or wants you to remind them about the goals and practice at home. Some kids don’t mind, some kids do. The same child will give different answers at different times.
• You can play some of the music they are learning in the car to and from the lesson (if you can sync your phone to the car speaker).
• If you don’t attend the lesson you can let the student teach you some things they learned (play dumb).
• Since the lessons are comparatively short, the best results happen when parents attend and know what’s going on.
Although we try to situate our studios within a few miles of a large demographic some parents drive 15-30 minutes to have their child spend 15 or 30 minutes in a lesson. One wouldn’t think that was worth it. But it can be, if the parent takes advantage of the time in the car with the child and makes it part of the lesson experience.
Kevin Taylor is Founder of The Childbloom Guitar Program