Most students, if they begin music instruction in an elementary or middle school, are taught in a group setting where perhaps the teacher can focus just a few minutes on each student before moving on to the next. Other group lessons require all the students to play at once with very little personal instruction. While this format can offer an introduction to playing the instrument, it really isn't the best way to enhance and advance a beginner's knowledge of the viola or violin. Not all students learn the same way or at the same pace. This is where private instruction differs from group lessons.
With private instruction, the student gets all the attention. If the child learns at a slower pace, they won’t be left behind while the rest of the class is learning new skills. If the student is a fast learner, they won’t be bored waiting for others to catch up. The student learns at their individual pace and the focus of the lesson is what that specific student needs to work on to improve. This is why students who take private instruction, in addition to what their school orchestra program offers, have the potential to be leaps and bounds ahead of their peers who do not take outside music lessons. The additional knowledge that the student gains from private lessons can help them to play even better in their group classes or school orchestra.
Private instruction is one of the best gifts a parent can give their child. Not only does the individual attention that the student receives help with their musical skills, music has been shown to help students learn other subjects as well, such as math and science. Music helps build discipline through practice, and self-esteem is boosted once difficult techniques are conquered. Music lessons also open the door for the student to prepare for more advanced orchestras, such as regional and all-state orchestras.
Studying music helps open up new social circles for the student outside of school, to make new friends- friends who share their common passion for music and push each other to work hard to achieve goals. If the student is driven, the advanced skills the student learns from their private musical studies can lead to playing music in their college orchestra, or even majoring in music with the intention to become a professional musician.
For adult learners, private lessons allow the same benefits as stated above: the individual attention needed to improve musical skills through tailored lessons that fit the student's learning style. There are many wonderful community orchestras that are in Vermont where the adult learner can enjoy playing in a more advanced setting while making new friends who also love playing music. Just because someone is an adult learner doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy playing in an orchestra!