Meri’s Musical Musings

10 tips on how to be a successful adult music student

Posted on: January 23, 2017

  1. Attend lessons regularly, especially if you are a beginner, whether or not you practiced.
  2. Practice ALL of your assigned material, at least 5 out of 7 days per week, for the amount of time total per day your teacher recommends, based on your learning speed and lesson length
  3. Assuming you have a good teacher, trust the teacher’s opinion when they say you are doing well. Most good teachers have been doing it long enough to know what slow, normal, and fast progress look like in students of a variety of ages.
  4. Pay on time, and disclose any potential financial difficulties you may have.
  5. If possible, take an unconventional but reasonable time for lessons like when most students are in school. I regularly took my lessons starting at either 11 am or 1 pm, but was flexible because of the types of work I usually did.
  6. Learn and master at least the rudiments of music theory, and apply them to the music you are learning.
  7. Assuming you have a good teacher, be open to the teacher’s ideas on things on changing your way of playing or minor equipment changes, because most instruments are set up with far from good equipment and the seemingly natural way to play certain instruments is often incorrect.
  8. Get the best quality instrument you can afford, ideally picked out with a teacher if you are a beginner.
  9. Consider doing an exam or two once you’re around the early intermediate stage or slightly above that. Although I initially didn’t want to when I first took lessons, after receiving my first Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) certificate in the mail which I did well on despite some nerves, it became a real source of joy and pleasure to see my progress in theory, piano, and clarinet, and displaying them marked me as a serious teacher to potential students and parents.
  10. Take advantage of performance opportunities, even if you’re the only adult performing. You might inspire other adults to take lessons and perform on stage.

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  • None
  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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