Music lessons can take many different shapes and forms. There are a variety of approaches to learning an instrument and developing musicianship. Teachers and music academies often align themselves with either a traditional approach to music education or one of the many variations of contemporary music lessons. In so doing they both miss the value of the other. And more importantly, they risk losing their student’s motivation and potential.
Traditional Music Lessons
Traditional music lessons prepare students, in an often rigid environment, to read and play the music of the great academic composers. These lessons tend to produce excellent sight-reading skills. This makes playing and exploring new music fun and exciting much like reading a new book or magazine. Traditional music lessons also prepare students with the skills and knowledge necessary to study music at a university if they decide to enter a music program. Unfortunately, the traditional approach, if taught exclusively can discourage some students who have tremendous potential. Often times these students might even drop out of music altogether, because of their failure to thrive and their lack of enjoyment within this method.
Contemporary Music Lessons
Contemporary music lessons vary greatly in style and method. These lessons are defined by a folk approach, as is common with guitar lessons, that doesn’t require music reading or theory. Instead, they focus on skill, musicianship, and intuitive methods of learning music. These methods work especially well for students who have a natural ear for music and rhythm. This approach is also beneficial for those students who struggle with the intuitive aspects of music as it can help them develop these skills. Contemporary methods tout quick results and fast growth. Students are able to play challenging songs within months of beginning their lessons. However, the majority of students I’ve worked with that come from contemporary methods struggle to ever develop adequate music reading abilities and other cognitive music skills.
The Best of Both
Dungeness Music Academy incorporates concepts of both the traditional and contemporary methods into our music lessons. We recognize each students strengths and weaknesses and develop lesson plans that reward their natural abilities while gently challenging them to grow in their weaknesses. We create well rounded musicians who are passionate about music.