Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Is it OK to switch instrument mid-stream???
We get this question a lot!
Is it OK to switch instruments after they have been taking another for 6 months to 18 months?
The answer - of course! It all depends on what your goal and expectations are how you look at this. Is your overall goal that of musical enjoyment? Then the exploration of more than one instrument is completely understandable. Many times parents and the students themselves sometimes, place unrealistic expectations upon themselves as to where they should be and at what time, what the lessons "should be like" or how they "should go". These are usually based on minimal information and a lot of what they have created in their heads. Lessons should be enjoyable and can take many forms. The days of the piano teacher slapping your wrists when you make a mistake are gone. Here are the days of the modern music educator which teaches to the strengths and desires of each individual student.
Often, when choosing an instrument for their child to start, accessibility to an instrument plays a larger part than possibly necessary sometimes. Specifically, siblings want to differentiate themselves from their peers so it is very common after all 4 children have been playing piano for 6 months there are a few defectors saying, "...I want to try drums...I want to try guitar...etc." What they are really saying is I want to be different from my brother's a sister's and have my "own thing". Not that the cost factor of already having a piano sitting in the living room, or Uncle Joey's Guitar in the closet isn't important, etc. but it may not be the proper fit for each child in the family and may not be, in the case of the guitar, the proper size even.
When it comes to music education, be flexible. The student should be enjoying themselves in the lessons and if that takes exploration of a secondary instrument so they can find their "voice" than explore on!
The Music Momma