While some new students bound in and announce their intent
to "play just like (-insert current teen idol here-)",
most of the younger children are not as set in their ideas,
and so are quite open to learning simple versions of Beethoven's
"Ode to Joy", or "Puff the Magic Dragon". Nevertheless, it
is important to study what the student wants. The Royal Conservatory
books provide a wide variety of pieces to capture the students'
interests, while students learning folk or popular music are
encouraged to bring in their own songbooks to work on in the
lesson. The teachers also have an endless supply of well-known
songs to bring out.
Music is not just about performing. There are some teachers
who still feel it is mandatory for all music students to perform,
not accounting for the fact that some children are frightened
of playing in front of others. Avalon Music Academy students
are encouraged, but not obliged to perform. There are other
reasons to learn music than to make the teacher look good.
(Incidently, some of these reasons are discussed in the Why
Study Music? page).
One very important part of children's success in music is
the parents' involvement. Sometimes the role of a parent is
nothing more than to ensure time and space for the students
to practice at home (add to this a never-ending stream of
praise and encouragement). For the younger children, a mother
or father who is actually in the lesson makes a big difference,
as the student may need some help when practicing at home.
As used above, the term, "success" refers to the state in
which the student is happy and comfortable playing an instrument.
The joy is passed on to others (by teaching or by performing),
and the skills developed in music (due to having used the
creative and technical sides of the brain) are transferable
to many other aspects of life.
Back to the "About