Learning a musical instrument has many benefits for children that can last a lifetime. Musical study helps children perform better in their academic work, increases their ability to multitask effectively, stimulates their creativity, and increases their empathy. Whether your child is interested in the drums, guitar, piano, voice, or another instrument, it’s crucial to find the right music school and teacher to enable him or her to enjoy the learning experience and be successful.
Music can be both a challenging and rewarding extracurricular activity for your child. It often takes many lessons in order to see progress, and that’s why it’s so important for children to have regular instruction at the right school. Yet, with schedules busier than ever, it can be difficult for parents and children to find sufficient time for musical extracurriculars, but if you consider the following guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to making the right decision.
Accommodating Busy Schedules
The best music schools will work with your busy schedule when arranging lessons, and some schools even have online booking options. When choosing a school, ask about the lesson cancellation and payment policies. Some schools may offer discounts for multiple siblings enrolled in lessons at the same school, which halves pickup and drop-off times if you have more than one child.
Finding the Right Instructor
The choice of an instructor for your child is just as important as the school. Top traits to look for in an instructor include training (be sure they are degree-holding educators), enthusiasm, and instrumental or vocal competency. The instructor should also have experience working with children in your child’s age range. Other top traits to look for in an instructor include a sense of compassion, understanding of children’s varying needs, and a flexible schedule with sufficient availability.
The best music schools will work with you, matching your child with an instructor who has a similar personality and regular availability at a time that suits your family. The technical level of your child’s music skills will also be considered when matching students with teachers.
Prior to committing to regular lessons, ask the school about its policies regarding contract lengths. Music schools may allow prospective students and their parents to observe a current student’s lesson or even have a consultation lesson themselves prior to signing a contract.
The most appropriate school for your child will make his or her personal safety the top priority and make every effort to provide a safe and enjoyable learning environment. Before choosing a school, visit it in advance to inquire about its safety and security procedures.
It is especially important that schools have observation windows in every teaching room for visibility, and police reference checks for all instructors are crucial, too.
At the best schools, office staff should be available in the building during all lessons in case of an emergency, and parents should only sign contracts with schools that offer an open-door policy for families, allowing parents to enter their child’s lesson at any time. The most advanced, modern schools will have video cameras in all teaching rooms, and the video display feed will be shown on screens in the lobby. Visit Torontoartsacademy.com to see what the upper tier of personal safety for children looks like at a music school, or better yet give them a call to find out all the details for yourself.
So, remember, when considering the right school for your child, keep scheduling, quality of instructors, and attention to safety at the top of your list of priorities. It doesn’t hurt to pay attention to awards and accolades, either — especially when the Toronto Arts Academy has been named top school every year since 2014 by the Consumer Choice Awards.
The best schools will welcome inquiries from prospective students and would love to have you join their growing community of musicians, so before you commit, consider the points above. You’ll be glad you did.