My child is ready to start lessons…or is she? (Topic 1, Part 3. What is involved?)

In this post we continue looking through some factors which are involved in the initial decision to start music lessons

  • Do we as a family have money for it? it isn’t as simple if you consider the 10-12 years span! No matter how you go about budgeting this project, it will in the end cost your family many 1,000’s of dollars.

The initial investment is already pretty heavy: you need a piano (violin, flute, etc). You can go on a low budget and rent an instument, but in a long run you will end up paying more for worse quality, because renters will charge you the cost of your instrument over the period of your contract, but you will have to give it back eventually. Renters in general will also not rent out a good quality instrument because they will not risk you damaging an expensive one. Your child will use an instrument which will be low-quality, poorly-sounding, hard-to-play. If at all possible, consider buying a medium quality instrument at an outlet which has some kind of program for upgrading in the future. Or, consider rent-to-buy option.

  • Cost of lessons. Again, no matter how you manage this side, it will be a huge investment over 10-12 years. On average the total cost of this project over the years may go as high as $50,000-$100,000 per child.

You can go with lower cost per lesson, fewer lessons, and shorter lessons. Lower cost per lesson time is a difficult thing to sort out because you may have a neighborhood teacher who doesn’t charge top rates, but who is fabulous for your child. Or, you may sign up with a famouse top-rated teacher in your area who produces fantastic players but whose personality may not work well with your child’s.

Fewer lessons (one per week vs two per week) and/or shorter lessons is a practical option for many families. Keep in mind that whatever the teacher is not given time to do for your child, you should be prepared to do for her yourself at home. If you have some musical background, this option may be the best, at least at some stretches of her study. Unless you are ready to compensate, however, you need to understand that every time your child’s teacher wasn’t given enough lesson time to cover the material, your child’s progress is stagnated.  This isn’t a good option, and if you see the teacher struggling to cover the material in the given time, consider asking to extend the length or frequency of lessons.

Our next Blog post tackles this question:  Why is it so important to not allow your child to stagnate in her progress?