Thursday, May 9, 2013

We're Gone on Vacation Over the Summer, Should My Child Take Lessons Anyway?

     Taking lessons over the summer is one of best things you can do for yourself and your child.  Many students forget more than half of what they learn in school that year over the summer; the same goes for music skills, sports skills, you name it.

So do not stop lessons over the summer, keep it going even if there is vacations and camps somewhere in there. Most teachers are flexible during the summer because they are gone at times as well. If your teacher does not teach during the summers, ask for a recommendation on someone in the area that you can study until the Fall.

Still not convinced, here are some more things to consider:

1. Progress: If you stop lessons over the summer, some students and parents come back with bad habits formed and songs forgotten. Some people just quit their instrument instead of coming back.You do not want to lose the investment you made and pay extra to make-up for the loss. For some students it takes a few weeks or even months to get back to where they were at the beginning of the summer. If you keep up with lessons over the summer, you will continue to move forward with musical skills, motor skill development, consistency, time management, etc. You will not fall behind, which will keep you encouraged when other subjects seem to be lagging at the beginning of the school year.

2. Opportunities: Throughout the summer, there are great camps you can participate in. At camps, you can meet parents and other students, which will motivate everyone to enjoy the music they learned, learn new music, be challenged to play better, and more (more information about camps here).

3. Teacher Availability: The summer brings new students for some teachers, which may cause you to lose your slot or even not be able to fit in the Fall schedule. Along the same lines, some parents want to switch teachers and use the "summer break" line as a way to evade the issue. I want to encourage you to use this kind of situation as an opportunity in character development. Your character is on display to your child and others as you deal with harder situations. You can lose more than you know when you just make up excuses or evade issues. Face hard situations with respect and humility, and good things happen in your family.

Summers are wonderful opportunities to invest in the growth of the family. It is easy to just drop everything, but if you take advantage of what school breaks offer, you will win out in the end!

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