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Is it Time to Stop Private Lessons?

Updated: Apr 23

Happy Spring! We welcome the nice weather, beautiful flowers and thoughts of summer vacation just around the corner.

Though spring is often a joyful and fun time, your child may be frustrated with music right now. Like many students, they might be struggling to balance their music lessons and practice with spring sports commitments, theater schedules, or end-of-year academic demands.

If this is a situation that happens frequently, the stress it causes might have you wondering if it’s time to take a break from private lessons.

This can be a difficult decision, as many parents really want to give their kids the gift of music and are hesitant to discontinue a valuable music activity.

As a private teacher for over 25 years, I’ve had a lot of experience helping parents figure out when it's time to take a break from private lessons.

Here are 5 signs it might be time for a lesson break:

  • Lessons are regularly missed to attend other activities. If everything else always takes priority over lessons, that’s an indicator that lessons and practice will not get the time or attention they need.

  • Your child is taking lessons mostly because you want them to. It’s perfectly understandable to want to give your child the music lessons you never had, or had and really loved. But if this is the main reason for lessons, your child won’t have the motivation to put in the necessary effort over time and they might not get much out of the lessons.

  • Your child enjoys ensemble activities most. There are many students who love social music activities like band or pit orchestra but don’t like playing by themselves. In that case, the social connection is the significant motivator, not the private instruction.

  • Your child complains every time they have to practice. Private lessons only work if the student is willing to put in lots of solitary time on their instrument. If your child hates practicing, the lessons won’t provide much value.

  • Their current private teacher doesn’t click with or inspire your young musician. The relationship the private teacher has with the student can make a significant impact on the success of lessons. If the current teacher doesn’t inspire your student, perhaps seek another instructor.  

With the school year winding down, the end of the spring semester and summer are a great time to give this decision some careful thought. I hope these suggestions help make the process of deciding whether to continue or discontinue lessons for your child a bit easier.

For more helpful tips and guides visit the parents page.

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