Kathy Kucsan, Education Director
Summer. It’s the best time to rest, relax, reboot. Explore new places, learn new things. Take a needed break from routine. Go to Colorado Music Festival concerts. Right?
Students sometimes ask about dropping lessons and picking up where they left off when fall comes around. Here’s what I have to say about that.
Why It’s a Good Idea to Take Music Lessons Over the Summer
Learning to play an instrument or sing is a process. You acquire and build skills. It’s a cumulative process: the more you practice, the better you get. It’s as simple as that. If you pack away your violin (or trumpet or guitar…) for two or three months, it will be like a stranger to you when you open the case again. The “summer slide” may cause you to forget proper hand placement or how to play the C major scale. It will take some time to get back up to speed. That can be downright discouraging.
Playing an instrument builds skill upon other skills. Continuity is a really important component of building those skills. So is practice. It’s like exercise and playing sports. If you take time away from exercising, skills and strength deteriorate pretty quickly and it takes a while to build them back up again. Short practice sessions more frequently are much better for continuity than a marathon day of trying to master every major scale at once. A few lessons over the summer reinforce skill acquisition. And practice schedules can be flexible and creative. For example, instead of racing for the school bus, your child can take some time in the mornings to practice before heading to the pool for the afternoon.
Making music is brain building, too. We know from the last two decades of research that studying music enhances learning in academic subjects. So while your child’s brain is taking a break from math, science, and language study, music is still providing cognitive, affective, and psychomotor workouts that literally builds brain “muscle.” Summer is a great time to learn new things about music. Choose new repertoire. Maybe even explore a new instrument. Our Ukes and Keys class does just that: challenges students to learn two instruments at once. Their brains get a great workout!
Summer is a time to be flexible. While we encourage continuing lessons, we also encourage you to change things up. Take vacation days. Schedule a few lessons, change the length of lessons, try a different time of day, or take two lessons a week for a while and see how that goes. We can accommodate almost any schedule. Your teachers are going to travel, too. Our excellent Registrar is very adept at solving schedule and studio space puzzles, so keep your musical progress moving forward this summer by challenging her to create a schedule that works for you and your teacher.
Ready to schedule your summer lessons? Find everything you need at our Student Info Center.