IT WILL COST YOU IN THE LONG RUN!
As the summer approaches, many students (and parents) look forward to the smell of BBQ’s, beach days, field trips, waking up late in the morning and to do nothing at all. It sounds like a dream come true, right?
But now that I am not only a teacher but also a parent, I have become concerned about the amount of free time my child will have, most likely on his tablet or watching TV. Then my PARENTAL instincts kick in and I realize that my child will be off for two months! Most likely he will lose whatever progress he has made by not practicing the instrument he has been working on for the past school year. Finally I realize, it’s going to cost me more money to bring him back into it. Basically it will be like starting all over again, becoming a vicious circle of money and time wasted.
Summer, It’s the perfect time to REALLY get into your favorite instruments for various reasons:
1. Keep your mind active Sitting around all day playing video games can become obsessive during summer. It’s a fact the playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and can raise your IQ by up to 7 points! Research has also shown that playing an instrument increases the capacity of your memory. Kids need a bit of structure. Freedom is wonderful but an idle mind is not. A diet of only TV and friends is unhealthy to say the least. Parents need to moderate and encourage brain work. Since music is a language, if it is not used it’s lost. When a student does not take summer lessons, depending on the age of the child, it can take up to a month to retrieve past skills and establish a practice schedule.
2. Retain the Skills You Learned! Each year students learn new skills in their music lessons, which are essential to their growth as a musician. These are quickly and easily lost when we let our instruments collect dust all Summer. Becoming a musician is like building a house. If the foundation is weak the house comes a tumbling down. Fundamentals, reading and technique are the first things we lose when taking an extended break from regular playing.
3.- Musicians are athletes. We need to retain muscle memory in our bodies to be able to play our instruments. Do you think professional football players take the summer off? No way! They’re training harder than ever to get ahead during the summer months.
4.- You can work on problems and challenges during the summer. This is the perfect time for a student to master and overcome problems and challenges they have encountered throughout the school year. Maybe there is a piece the student has been working on, but not enough because of school homework, and other extra curricular activities. Summer time offers you the time and the freedom to really master and overcome any obstacles you are having with your instrument. This brings me to the next point.
5.- Build Self-Confidence and Learn Perseverance & Discipline – Overcoming musical challenges that you thought you couldn’t master can give you a great sense of pride. Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort. Practicing often and working on technique and new material requires perseverance. The best musicians are the ones who have mastered discipline!
We can conclude that music, as a language, should be used and practice on a daily basis, otherwise it will be lost. So when you are thinking about those amazing plans for the summer, make sure you include some time to continue the growth of your child’s music education.