When selecting the right music education program for your child, you should look at more than whether or not a school teaches a specific instrument or style of dance. There are a whole range of factors to consider, so that you and your child get the most value out of the music education experience. A music program should incorporate history, scholarship, self-discipline, and leadership preparation, integrating into your child’s complete educational experience.
There are several things you should look into, such as:
Accreditation: A good music school has national and state accreditations. The National Association of Music Education is the leading national association of music educators. Your state will most likely have its own association of music education, such as New York State School Music Association.
Class structure: A music school will have lesson plans and topics you can review. In addition to the usual practice time, it’s a good idea to examine things such as the class term plan subjects taught and the lesson sequence. What is the methodology that the instructor uses? What are the lesson plans throughout the quarter or class term?
Music history and culture: What is the cultural and historical background of the musical form included in instruction, either in terms of the music that is curated or direct instruction? How much does the role of cultural heritage play in instruction?
- A good school will provide instructor qualifications, certification of instructor degrees such as BFA or MFA, and any special qualifications or credentials that they may have.
Measuring Progress and Results
- Ask how the program measures accomplishment and progress. Various programs measure the ability to successfully perform in a recital or other event as a level of accomplishment.
- Programs will also have guidelines for at home support, including recommendations as to at-home practice schedules, ways to keep young music students motivated and excited about music and their program, and so on.
Is it fun? Is it social?
- The one way to tell this is by checking out a sample class, and by word of mouth recommendations. Often, great schools will have videos depicting their students in action, showing results.
- Another great way to see if your child will enjoy the program is to attend a recital. This is an opportunity to meet instructors and staff, fellow young musicians, and to learn about the school and program.
Team-building and Leadership Skills
- Finally, a great conversation to have with school staff is to see how the program develops leadership and team skills. Music is collaborative, and seeing how young musicians progress and become leaders in bands, orchestras and other groups in the program is a great way to measure a program’s effectiveness.
A great music education program should be more than simply a fun activity – it should be a rich educational experience. Great music education not only teaches performance skills, but it also imparts culture, history, self-esteem, and leadership skills.
We’d love to talk with you about helping you and your young student begin a music education program. Call Joe’s Academy of Music at 718-454-3036 or contact us.