I received a call from a mom about wanting her daughter to take music lessons. When I asked what instrument her child wanted to play, she said these words to me.
“I’m worried my child isn’t smart, she’s having a hard time keeping up at school and thought music lessons could help”
It wasn’t that this mom was discounting her child and her intelligence, but I could here the stress in her voice and she was worried about how to help her daughter be successful in school and of course in life.
Lessons Can’t Make You Smart But They Can Make You Successful
I took a breath and gave her the best advice I could, the advice I believe in and the reason I started Lessons In Your Home over 22 years ago. I said Music Lessons can’t increase intelligence but they can teach a student how to learn and to be successful. I added that one on one lessons are much different than classrooms. Being the sole focus of a teachers attention in a positive way can very much be encouraging to students who don’t find success easily in school.
The Trick Is To Repeat Being Successful
When students are having a tough time in school, they usually repeat that tough time with every assignment and test. They’re essentially practicing struggling. When you take lessons with a private music teacher, one on one, you get to practice being successful and that’s what I love about music lessons.
What Instrument Should We Choose She Asked
Learning to play piano is the easiest path to success because it’s an instant gratification instrument. You press a note and it makes a sound. The first time you press a note and it makes that sound your piano teacher gets to say, good job. The note came out and we only build from there. Because the process is so stable, and good piano technique isn’t hard to learn, we have a lot of wins on piano. We get to repeat success!
Follow Up – All Good Things!
Happy to say two years later and it’s going well for this student both on piano and a lot better in school. At the last recital her mom gave me the report. “Jay, you were right” she said, my daughter really learned how to be successful. I gave her a wink and told her she was really smart all along, she just had to believe it. And we all lived happily ever after.