The PJC Intermediates Programme
Thursday, June 17, 2021 | Uncategorized
Our PJC Intermediate Programme is the next level up after completing the Young Beginners Programme.
They are 90 minute lessons open to students studying ABRSM Grades, Initial Grade to Grade 4.
Each lesson consists of specific sections:
Singing and Aural Practice
Scales and Arpeggios
The Intermediates Programme will allow our students to take their ABRSM Music Theory Exams. All students will need to take Grade 5 Theory by the end of their Intermediates Programme, as ABRSM does not allow anyone to take Grade 6 unless they have already taken Grade 5 Theory. Once our students have completed the Intermediates Course, and have reached Grade 4 on Piano and/or Voice, AND Grade 5 Music Theory, they can progress to a PJC Advanced Programme, where in addition to Grade 5-8 on Piano and/or Voice, we will offer an additional extra of taking GCSE and then A level Music should they wish.
Singing and Aural
The singing part of each lesson will allow students to reinforce their music theory, working holistically together as we did in the Young Beginners Programme, understanding scales, keys, chords, arpeggios, triads and much more. Any student who wishes to take Grade 1 and above in their singing exam will have the opportunity to work on repertoire, technique, tone and performance skills. All students will learn sight singing (even students who don’t wish to take singing grades) as it features in the Aural part of the Piano Exam from Grade 4 and above. This part of each lesson will also give an opportunity for regular practice of the other skills that will be examined in their Aural tests such as singing echos and analysing music.
Now our 24 students have reached Grade 1-4 on the Piano, I will be able to give these more demanding and exciting challenges in relation to each composer, and more importantly connect the context of each composer in time, period, style and genre, building up a wealth of knowledge which will help them with their Grade 5-8 Aural Exam, and any GCSEs or A level Music they may go on to take in the future.
Piano Pieces, Sight Reading and Scales/Arpeggios
These will have focused set times each lesson, ensuring our students continue to make incredible progress consistently.
Unlike the Young Beginners Programme, which is £70 for a 50 minute lesson, the Intermediates Programme works out at even better value, at only £90 per month for a 90 minute lesson.
If your child has reached Initial Grade and wishes to move up to our Intermediates Programme, please get in touch and we will find the best class for them, keeping as close as possible time to their original lesson time. Students are welcome to stay in the Young Beginners Programme until they pass their Initial Grade, in which case they will need to move up to the Intermediates Programme to start Grade 1.
The most recent ABRSM exam certificates from some of our Intermediate students
A mini recital during an Intermediates Lesson
An Intermediates Group enjoying a Music Theory Game together.
As always, if you have any questions at all regarding the Intermediates Programme, please don't hesitate to get in touch. ❤️🎹🎤
The PJC 'Fast Track' Programme
Monday, August 24, 2020 | Progress
The PJC 'Fast Track' Programme
One of the most frequently asked questions from our parents is how best to support their child with their practice. At PJC, we are so committed to providing outstanding progress for our students at fantastic value for money, and are always looking for ways to further increase the rate at which our students improve. After 6 months of trial runs with selected students and parents, we are delighted to announce that from September 2020, we are officially launching our PJC 'Fast Track' Programme. This package works in addition to our Young Beginners Programme, and is designed to provide an opportunity to accelerate the progress of our Young Beginners at an even quicker rate by providing bi-weekly support for students and their parents to help with their practice at home!
How Will the Fast Track Programme Improve Progress?
The PJC Fast Track Programme improves student progress in three different ways:
1) It provides expert support and feedback twice weekly.
Students can send audio or video recordings of their practice up to twice a week, and receive feedback on these pieces within two days. Specific areas of weakness or any errors can be addressed, and PJC can use this to inform their planning for the student's next lesson.
2) It allows students to move through pieces at home.
If a student sends a recording of a piece played well, they can have their pieces 'ticked off' at home, meaning they can move quicker through their books because they are not having to wait till their next lesson to get their pieces approved and stamped. This means they can spend their subsequent lesson learning next steps instead of spending time demonstrating what they have practiced.
3) It encourages regular and consistent practice in our students.
Students are motivated by the frequent deadlines, and by the regular encouragement they receive with their practice. Students and parents alike can ask for specific and focused help on any areas they are struggling on.
How much quicker is the progress they will make?
In the sixth month trial run, students progressed up to three times quicker than those on the Young Beginners Programme alone.
How much is it?
The fast track is paid monthly on the 1st and costs £16.50 per month.
Who should be joining the Fast Track Programme?
Any student who has already reached their Initial Grade, Grade 1 or higher in either singing or piano, and any student who wishes to progress through their first two piano books and reach their ABRSM even quicker.
How does this help students who are working towards ABRSM Exams?
Our Fast Track Programme applies to both Singing and Piano Grades. As the pieces get more difficult, students have the opportunity to check in twice during the week with any queries, or ask for help with any difficult passages. It is also an excellent opportunity to showcase what I have asked them to work on in the previous lesson, and the feedback can then include instructions to tackle further specific sections of the piece. It also provides the ability for the student to demonstrate anything they have been working on that they do not get time to show during lesson time.
For Singers specifically, students would need to be able to record themselves singing both unaccompanied and with the backing tracks I have recorded on the online portal.
I am working on ABRSM Grades in both Singing and Piano, how will that work for me?
Students have two opportunities for feedback weekly and can decide how they wish to use them (e.g. one for signing, one for piano, or two for singing and none for piano, or different each week depending on their need). Alternatively, you could sign up for twice weekly for both singing and piano.
Is there anyone that isn't suitable for the Fast Track Programme?
The Fast Track Programme will likely not be value for money for any student who:
1) will not be able to practice at least twice a week on most weeks.
2) does not have the ability to record their playing or singing and send it each time.
3) is under the age of seven and does not have a parent sitting and helping them when practising.
If I don't sign up, does this mean you don't want me to send videos of my child playing or singing?
It most definitely does not mean that!! I love nothing more than seeing snippets of our students practicing at home and I want this to continue! It just means I won't be able to provide the level of feedback as those on the fast track programme.
Logistically, how will this work?
You or your child will send me their audio or video recording either via WhatsApp. PJC will respond within two days. The format the feedback takes will change depending on how best to help the student, it may be written, audio, video or may include a photo or link to something external.
Can I do a trial?
If you want to take part in the Fast Track Programme, you must commit to paying for the month ahead, but you can cancel this service at any time, there is no notice period.
How do I Sign Up?
Just send us an email and we can add them to the Fast Track Students list and adjust your invoices.
As always, any questions at all please don't hesitate to get in touch. ❤️🎹🎤
Welcome Information for Young Beginners!
Monday, August 24, 2020 | Welcome Information
Hello and welcome to our PJC Family!
Please read the information below before your child's trial lesson. Due to Covid-19, we also ask parents to familiarise themselves with our Risk Assessment (click here to read) in order to keep all our students and their families safe.
Terms and Conditions
Please sign the terms and conditions before your child attends their trial lesson. Please click this link to be directed to the form.
Using the Calendar
You should have received an email to set up your password for our online portal.
Your child is now signed up for their chosen lesson slot and you should be able to see this on the calendar once you sign in.
Watch out for the different locations- Green is for lessons in Baildon BD17 6SZ and Lilac is for Horsforth LS18 5RF.
If you need to cancel a lesson for whatever reason, you will be issued a 'make up credit'. You can use this credit to sign up for any other group lesson that has an available space. Please note, as in the policy, lessons cancelled within 24 hours notice will receive no makeup credit.
We have a full blog post on how to use our make up credits here.
Horsforth Venue Information
Mondays and Wednesdays
Horsforth School, Lee Lane East, LS18 5RF
Your entrance is around the back of the school. You can walk or drive through the green gate at the top of the drive (with the school on your right and tge AstroTurf on your left). Feel free to park by that back entrance. Please note- that gate doesn't open till 3:55pm.
Your child will be met by PJC and brought down to the Music Room.
Baildon Venue Information
Tuesdays and Sundays
11 Bramham Drive, Baildon, BD17 6SZ
There is on street parking at our Baildon Venue as it is a home studio. Please arrive at the blue front door and give a nice firm knock.
Your child will be met by PJC and brought into to the Music Room. (Please don't arrive early)
On the first day, please feel free to drop your child off quickly, or come in to see the room, say hello and introduce yourself.
Can Parents Stay?
Parents are not allowed in the music rooms during lesson time. From my experience, children focus better, relax easier and have much more of a good time when their parents are not there, even if that means that the first few minutes are a little bit scary.
Please don't worry if you child is upset when you leave them, we are completely experienced in handling this, and students are always happy in no time at all.
Don't worry about purchasing anything before the lesson. Students will receive their Starter Park at their trial lesson. This includes:
First Piano Book
PJC Book Bag
PJC Laminated Flowchat and Cheat Sheet (to help parents support their children at home)
You can also order PJC Uniform for an additional price.
The T Shirts are available to order for £10 each in our PJC colours blue, pink, and orange and have the PJC Music School Logo on the back. They are available in black, white or RAINBOW GLITTER text (which most of our students go for!) Our Hoodies are available in blue or pink with either white matt or rainbow glitter text and are £20. As an extra, you could also get your child's name on the front for £2.
Just send PJC an email to order yours today.
Practice at Home
As well as our PJC Flowcharts, we have lots of video guides in our online portal to support you with your child's practice at home. Just go to: 'Online Resources', then 'The PJC Piano Practice Guide for Parents'.
If you already have a piano or a keyboard to practise at home then fantastic! If not, please don't feel that you need to go out and buy a piano! It would be great if you could purchase or borrow a keyboard so that your child can practise all the wonderful things they will learn in the lessons. I have written a detailed blog post here helping parents with the daunting task of finding the right keyboard or piano.
We also have our PJC 'Fast Track' programme for an extra £16.50 per month, which provides bi-weekly support for practice at home.
This programme allows pupils to move through their first two piano books at an even quicker rate, and results in superior progress in ABRSM Exams. Please get in touch or read our blog post to enquire whether your child is suitable for our Fast Track Programme.
Please get in touch if there are any questions about using the first lesson or about using the online portal.
Many thanks, looking forward to meeting you!
Covid-19 Risk Assessment
Thursday, August 20, 2020 | Covid-19
During the Covid-19 Pandemic, we have put the following measures in place to ensure our students and their families are as safe as possible on our return to face to face lessons. Please could you take the time to read the information below as there are several big changes:
♩ Both our Horsforth and Baildon Rooms now have keyboards around the edge of the room, facing the walls instead of each other, with 1m+ between keyboards.
♩ This has created a large space in the centre of each room, allowing students to sit/stand socially distanced for any group discussion or activity.
♩ There will be compulsory hand sanitising on entry and exit for all students.
♩ Students' temperature will be checked on arrival using a no-touch infrared thermometer.
♩ We will not be asking our students to wear masks, however please feel free to send your child in one if you wish.
♩ All keyboards, headphones, stools, door handles etc. will be sterilised between lessons.
♩ Students must bring their current music book, a pencil and an eraser to each lesson in a bag. Unless parents have specifically requested not to, special PJC equipment has been provided for our students and charged to parent's accounts to cover the cost of these.
♩ In order to enable social distancing and allow time for cleaning between lessons, our Young Beginners Lessons will reduce from 55 minutes to 50 minutes. We ask parents not to arrive early, and to ensure their children are picked up on time in order to assist with this.
♩ Due its higher chance of spreading Covid-19, group singing will not take place inside for the time being. If the weather is nice, an occasional outdoor singing session may take place.
♩ In order to ensure our student's singing needs are met, (including the musical theory we embed through singing), as well as compensating for the reduction in lesson time, one longer weekly lesson will be held on Zoom which will include singing repertoire, technique, sight-singing and any singing-related Composer of the Month activities. We feel this will more than ensure our parents receive value for money.
♩ Parents are asked NOT to bring their children to lesson if they display any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19. Any student who shows signs will be sent home immediately and asked to get a test ASAP.
♩ During this pandemic, we are waiving our 24 notice requirement for receiving make-up credits for anyone who cancels because of Covid-19 Symptoms. Please just cancel as normal on the system and send me a text or email to explain why and I will add the make up credit back to your account. Please note, your child will need a negative test result if they wish to return before the 14 days isolation period.
♩ Shoes will now be left on, and coats/bags will be brought direct to the students' keyboard station to avoid crowding around the hall way.
♩ Students will be asked to remain in their keyboard seat at the end of the lesson, and will be called one at a time to exit when PJC can see their parents have arrived.
♩ We ask parents NOT to enter the garden unless necessary, and instead ask them to send their children in one at a time (or one set of siblings), to socially distance them.
♩ Parents can either either wait in the car, or if students are younger they can watch their child's entry and exit from behind the hedge. We ask parents to keep 2m between households where possible.
♩ We ask parents to keep as socially distanced as possible while waiting in the foyer. If you arrive early, please wait outside/in the car.
♩ As soon as PJC or an assistant arrives, please leave your children with us while we wait for the whole class to arrive.
♩ We will be ensuring all our students keep their distance on our journey from the foyer down to the music rooms.
I am so excited to get started back again face to face and I want to thank you in advance for all of your help and support to make our return a success.
A Complete Guide to Make-Up Credits
Wednesday, August 28, 2019 | Make-Up Credits
A Complete Guide to Make-Up Credits
At PJC Music School, we are really proud of our make-up credit system. It means we can offer parents the flexibility to work music lessons around their busy family lives while ensuring that their child never misses out on that valuable lesson time! This blog is written to give our parents a detailed explanation of how to use the make-up credit system in a step-by-step guide.
With dentist appointments, school plays, swimming galas, Grandparent visits and holidays abroad, we know that our parents' schedules change every week. Using our online portal, any lesson cancelled with at least 24 hours notice will credit the account with a make-up credit. This can be used to sign up for a make-up lesson at a future date.
When you first signed up your child for music lessons at PJC, you will have been sent a ‘Parent Login’ email, directing you to set up your password. After this, you can go to www.pjcmusicschool.com on any page and enter your username and password in the login box in the side bar (on your phones there is no sidebar so just to scroll down till you reach it!) This will take you through to the online portal. If you can’t remember your password, please contact PJC and we will reset and send you out a new parent login email.
Marking your child’s absence:
Once you reach the online portal, you should automatically be taken to the calendar. If not, click on the left-hand side bar and the calendar is the second option down. In this example account, Leopold Mozart can see that his son Wolfgang Mozart is currently registered for the Monday at 4pm class.
Wolfgang can’t attend the lesson on the 9th September. Leopold can mark him as absent on the calendar by clicking on this lesson and clicking ‘cancel attendance’ with the red cross.
The system will give you an option to send PJC a message as to why you are absent. This can be useful for both parties but this is not obligatory.
The original lesson will now have a red head instead of a green one.
Leopold cancelled Wolfgang's lesson with at least 24 hours notice so he now has a make-up credit and can register him for another lesson. He could choose to do this now, or if he wasn’t sure which lesson was best, he could save it for later as the credits stay safely logged on the system. If he goes to the ‘home’ page and scrolls right down near the bottom he can see how many credits he has to use.
Choosing your make-up lesson
Not including the lessons your child is already registered for, lessons only appear on the calendar when there is a space available. With parents frequently cancelling and rescheduling their children’s lessons, lesson times on the calendar will appear and disappear regularly. You can sign up to a lesson with at least 12 hours notice, after which time the lesson registration will close.
When choosing your child’s make up lesson, just watch out for the differences in colour and age:
PURPLE is for lessons at Horsforth School,
GREEN is for lessons at Baildon.
You can use your make-up credit at either venue.
Just make sure the class you are applying for is age appropriate. There are several lessons in the week that have students age 8-14. This would not be a good fit for a 5 year old, as there is a much more grown-up atmosphere in these lessons with less games and longer stretches of time at a task. Just click on the lesson and it will tell you in the description the age range of the student in that lesson.
Registering for a lesson
Leopold can’t make any of the Horsforth make-up times, so he’s going to register Wolfgang for a 10am Baildon lesson on Sunday. All he has to do is click on the lesson and click ‘Register’ with the green tick.
The system will show a list of the possible future lessons. Ignore these and scroll down to click ‘Yes’.
Wolfgang is now registered for his make-up lesson. The make-up credit will stay logged in the system until PJC takes the register in the lesson. Success!
We used to have a termly expiration date on our make-up credits, which we extended to a yearly expiration date. However, we have since decided that in order to make our parents’ lives as easy as possible, there is now no expiration dates on our make-up credits. In return, we ask our parents that if they are booking make-up lessons in the considerable future, that they are courteous and understanding if these need to be rescheduled. Please note that make-up credits are a wonderful bonus we offer to our parents and must be used during full paying months. They cannot be stored up and used instead of a monthly payment, nor be added on at the end of a notice period.
Students from our Horsforth lessons getting on great with the Baildon regulars during one of their make-up sessions.
Your Child’s First Make-Up Lesson
Your child may feel a little apprehensive when attending a different lesson for the first time, with a different set of students and possibly a different venue. Don’t worry about this- it’s completely normal and all of our groups make newcomers feel completely welcome. My favourite thing about our make-up credits is how it enforces our PJC Family ethos. Students from all our Young Beginners classes start getting to know each other as they start attending different days and times, and soon it becomes a case of ‘Hey- I remember you from when you came to our Wednesday class a few weeks ago!’
A Final Plea on Behalf of our Parents...
In order for this fantastic system to work effectively, it’s really important that parents mark their child’s absence on the online calendar when they know they are going to be away. Even if you are not planning on taking advantage of the make-up lessons, please try and find the time to login and cancel your child’s attendance. Not only does this help with planning for the lesson, it opens up the slots to allow parents to use their make-up credits. We sincerely thank all of our parents for this contribution to our PJC Family Community!
PJC Music School offers high quality Piano and Singing lessons to students aged 3-14 in our Young Beginners Programme in Baildon and Horsforth. Visit www.pjcmusicschool.com/Group-Lessons for more information or search pjcmusicschool on Facebook or Instagram.
Piano Buying Guide - It's Not All Black and White
Saturday, October 20, 2018 | Keyboard, Piano, Music, Music Lessons,
Piano Buying Guide- It's Not All Black and White!
You've given your child the incredible gift of music lessons and now face the daunting task of looking for an instrument for them to develop their skills at home. Here is a step by step guide on how to choose the best instrument for your child's stage in their musical journey...
First Month of Lessons
When signing their children up for our Young Beginners Lessons, parents often ask me ‘Do they need a keyboard to start?’ The answer is ‘Not necessarily right away’. Although having an instrument to practise on at home is obviously favourable, the first month of lessons for our really young students (ages 3-5) is always focused on understanding their way around the keyboard. We recommend practice in the form of students showing their parents what they have learned in lessons, and this can be done on a toy keyboard, or even an iPad app- you could easily encourage your children to show you how they find Middle C and the other note names using these. Older students aged 6+ are taught about posture, technique and positioning from very early on, so the need for a decent instrument is more pressing here in order to ensure faster progress.
There are many apps available which will allow your younger child to demonstrate their first few lessons of knowledge.
First Year of Lessons
After the first few weeks, students should begin to get into the habit of practising regularly on a decent instrument. The main question parents should ask themselves here is, should they-
a) buy a cheaper instrument that may only last for a year or two.
b) invest now and be prepared for when their child is at a higher standard.
The most important goal is that your child has an instrument to practise on as soon as possible so either of these options is fine as long as it’s not delayed. Parents who prefer option B should read the information below on ‘Grade 1 and Beyond’. Parents who prefer option A read on…
What do I NEED in a keyboard for my child?
Touch Sensitive Keys/Touch Response
This means that the keys change volume depending on how much force you play with, replicating an acoustic piano. This is essential for the development of your child’s playing, as they will need to practise their dynamics (loud & soft) from quite early on in their musical journey.
If you purchase a keyboard with fewer keys than this, the range becomes very limited and it won’t be long before there are not enough keys on the keyboard to play the pieces they are working on (especially with older children). When you’re buying, it should tell you how many keys are on the keyboard but if you’re buying second hand or from a friend or neighbour, make sure you include the white AND BLACK keys when counting how many keys you need.
Adjustable Keyboard Stand
From early on in their lessons, PJC students are encouraged to use good posture and technique. Your child should be sat at the instrument with their knees just in front (underneath) the keyboard. The height of the keyboard should be so that their hands and elbows are at the same level, creating a perfect horizontal line (if you placed a pencil on your child’s forearm from wrist to elbow it should rest perfectly without falling). You don’t need to spend a fortune on a special seat; an adjustable keyboard stand would do the trick for about £15-£20.
When a student's posture is correct, they are then able to achieve the perfect 'claw like' position with the hand while playing.
What do I NOT need to worry about?
‘Songs’ (Inbuilt demo tracks)
‘Styles’ (Backing beats)
‘Voices’ (Instrument Sounds)
Light up keys
These devices can look exciting and sound impressive but by having lessons, your child is learning something more special than flamboyant gadgets- the ability to create music themselves and eventually play and compose anything they want! Although many keyboards come with these anyway, you certainly shouldn’t let these influence your decision when purchasing.
How much should I spend?
It is good idea to buy a good quality keyboard second hand than a cheap new keyboard. Adults often buy keyboards with the intention of learning, and then give up; selling it on for half the price. It’s also very common that they have purchased a stand and sometimes even a bag or headphones that they include with the price, saving an extra £15-£50!
My advice for keyboards is go for Yamaha and Casio as they are well made and produce a good quality sound. Don’t just buy based on the brand alone though, make sure that it has minimum 61 keys and touch response. Stay away from the super cheap brands that come as a bundle such as ‘Gear for Music’ as the quality is poor and they tend not to last.
In PJC group music lessons we use all Yamahas, the best and most up to date being the YPT340s.
Grade 1 and Beyond
As soon as your child progresses to graded examinations, the keyboards above will no longer cut the mustard. All students are examined on acoustic pianos (where the pressed keys cause a hammer to hit the strings). This is a completely different feel to the keyboards discussed above, and students need to be prepared for this. However, although having an acoustic piano is a great benefit, it is not necessary for students to practise on, and buying a digital piano or an electric stage piano could even be the better choice for you.
Do I buy Digital or Acoustic?
Again this all depends on how much you’re wanting to spend. If you buy a piano, remember that it will require at least yearly tuning (about £60 per tuning). There are some digitals that look and sound like an acoustic, retailing at about £3-4K. My strong advice is to stay well away from these. Acoustic Pianos have a very long life in them and digitals have an expiration date. If you’re going to spend that much on a piano, make sure it’s acoustic!
An upright piano of excellent quality retail at about £3-4k new. I always recommend Yamaha and Kawai pianos, as I prefer their tone.
In PJC lessons when a student reaches a milestone piece, they perform their mini-concert to their group on our Yamaha Baby Grand.
Buying a second hand acoustic piano is like buying a second hand car- it’s only as good as how well it’s been looked after. Unless it is dirt cheap and wouldn’t hurt your pocket too much if it was a disappointment, I would go through a reputable dealer rather than buying online. This way, you can make sure the piano has been fully checked over, maintained, and you’re getting a fair price for it. I wholeheartedly recommend Graham at GSG Pianos who I have always trusted implicitly to give me the best deal. You could get a decent quality second hand piano for £600-£700, but £1,000 is more your average benchmark. It is worth noting that there are buying schemes for children under 18 at certain retailers where you can buy a piano over 10 months on 0% finance so enquire about this before purchasing.
Another warning when buying a second hand piano online. Occasionally, pianos are so old that tuning them correctly would break the strings, and the piano is tuned a semi-tone or even a tone lower than concert pitch. This isn’t so much a problem unless your child develops ‘perfect pitch’. I had a friend at Music College who had this, but having learned on one of these old pianos, her ‘perfect pitch’ was actually a semi-tone out. It drove her crazy and after a while, she quit her degree before finishing. Check that the one you are looking at is tuned to concert pitch by downloading a tuning app (often used for string instruments) and playing the notes into the phone or tablet.
If second hand acoustics are like cars, think of second hand digital pianos like televisions. Digital Pianos have a limited shelf life, often of about a decade. Technology moves on and once the parts are not available, the instruments becomes obsolete. Digital Pianos retail new at about £800- £1,500. Any less than £600 and you start to lose quality, any more than £2k, and you should start to to be spending that money on an acoustic which will stand the test of time. You can pick up a digital for £500 second hand. Stay away from digitals from China, which are mass produced and poor quality. Stick with good brand names with long guarantees. Yamaha, Kawai, Roland are my top three.
A Grade 3 student performing at a PJC Summer Showcase on a Roland Digital Piano.
A Final Note ♪
In the same way that you don’t need a brand new car to learn to drive or the latest 4K technology to enjoy your favourite programme, you don’t need to invest in a top range instrument for your child to learn, enjoy and achieve when it comes to the piano. The best thing you can do as a parent is to encourage and support them with regular practice. As their skills develop, the instrument does become more significant, but nothing is as important as the time and effort put into their playing, and the encouragement and support they will receive from you.
With over a decade of outstanding results, PJC Music School provides group piano and singing lessons to young beginners Aged 3-14. For more information, contact Phillippa here.
Three Parenting Attitudes to Childhood Music Lessons
Wednesday, August 1, 2018 | Music, Parenting, Music Lessons
Three Parenting Attitudes to Childhood Music Lessons
Whether you’re a grade 8 musician or don’t know a crotchet from a quaver, your child could benefit from music lessons. Local Head of Music and mum of two, Phillippa of PJC Music School explains how your experience of music (or lack of) can influence your child.
After twelve wonderful years of teaching music both to my private students and in secondary schools, I have realised that when it comes to music lessons for their children, there are three types of parent:
1.The ‘pass it on’ parent
This type of parent was lucky enough to have music lessons themselves when they were younger, and wants their own child to experience the joy of being able to sing or play an instrument. They have fond memories of being in ensembles at school and making friends that grow out of the shared experience of rehearsing and performing together. They understand how music shaped them in their own lives; giving them confidence, a sense of identity and pride. They want their own children to understand the amazing benefits of hard work and to feel that satisfaction of seeing themselves improve. They recognise that their intelligence, success and interpersonal skills are a reflection of those music lessons and they want to pass on this incredible gift!
2. The ‘give them what I never had’ parent
I see a lot of these. Parents who, for whatever reason, didn’t get the opportunity to learn an instrument as a child and this makes them even more eager to give their own children those chances. This type of parent gets the most joy out of seeing their little ones progress. From the moment their child surpasses their own ability, the pride and awe that these parents experience is really very moving to witness. They really appreciate it when I send them videos of their child playing or singing in lessons, they cherish the moments when they see them performing live and they are always blown away when they bring home a piece of music that they have composed themselves.
3. The ‘but I’m tone deaf!’ parent
Now, this is an interesting one! This attitude almost always stems from fear. The parent might have had a bad experience with music lessons in the past, been told they weren’t musical or felt inferior and gave up quickly. This limited belief about their own musicianship is subconsciously transferred onto the next generation. The parent is fearful that their child won’t enjoy the lessons and won’t succeed or thrive in that environment. At the first sign of hesitation or difficulty from the child, the parent doesn’t encourage them to continue, but instead reinforces the idea that ‘our family are not musical’. To these parents I ask you this; what musical path would you have taken with another teacher or an alternative teaching style? What if you were consistently encouraged instead of criticised; given a safe and supportive learning environment with the freedom to express yourself, make mistakes and really enjoy your music? Would things have been different?
I am eternally grateful to my own parents, who were both in the ‘give them what I never had’ category. When my eldest son turned 4, I realised I had become a ‘pass it on’ parent. With this new found understanding of what would be the best learning environment for my own children, combined with over a decade of getting to know the wants and needs of my students and their families, I was inspired to create a brand new program of lessons in my music school.
The ‘Young Beginners’ program teaches piano and singing to ages 3-12, with a fun, engaging, group-based learning style. These hour-long weekly sessions allow enough time to develop real skill, technique and repertoire while the variety of games and activities in this group dynamic enables focus and enjoyment with a love of music at its core! With this strong foundation, I am confident these students will progress through my music school from enthusiastic young beginners to creative and passionate grade 8 musicians- and perhaps one day will go on to be ‘pass it on’ parents themselves.
Places are available on the ‘Young Beginners’ program from September and take place in Baildon and at Horsforth School. Pre-book now and get one lesson FREE.
Contact Phillippa at PJC Music School here