Parents often ask on community boards for recommendations for private lesson teachers, sometimes adding “…..preferably in our home.”
We totally understand! Life is ridiculously busy, children have many activities, family and work obligations are competing for your time. A teacher who'll come to you, leaving you to answer emails or get dinner started while s/he works with your child, sounds very convenient!
But – that convenience is offset by some significant trade-offs that you'll want to consider, as you make this important decision about the most rewarding musical path for your child.
First – kids really benefit from being part of the community of a music school. They come to a building humming with musical activity, see kids coming in and out with instruments, overhear a piece they'd like to play themselves - or someone struggling with the same challenges. They perform together when we take our music out to the community. They discover that learning an instrument is not just something they're doing alone, and begin to understand that they're part of something much larger: a fellowship of young musicians.
Second - the more experienced, established, and musically successful a professional teacher becomes, the less likely they are to feel that home visits are beneficial. No disrespect at all is meant to younger or less experienced teachers! After all, many of us started out this way. But as we grow in our careers, we learn that having all our students come to one location is much better model for student and teacher, both educationally and practically.
There are multiple distractions at home for your child, and driving from lesson to lesson takes time and gas for the teacher. Teaching in a dedicated, well-set-up and prepared studio, with all our music and tools to hand, able to accompany our students as they play, is what an experienced professional expects.
These are the faculty we hire at Wayland School of Music. We believe that all students, from completely new beginner to developing young artist, deserve to have this kind of successful, inspiring, musician - one with deep professional experience as both teacher and performer - to nurture and guide them from their very first lesson. (For more on why we feel so strongly about this, see here.) Professionals who bring this level of experience and success simply expect to teach in a professional setting.
Third - the students themselves seem to take the learning much more seriously, and do it better, when they go out to a professional studio or music school, rather than taking lessons in their living room. What clinched it for us at WSM was a comment from one of our faculty. He told us that when he reached the point in his career of being able to move his remaining home-visit students to a professional space - to his surprise those same students began to progress twice as fast and play much better!
For all these reasons, we think you’ll find it worthwhile to give your child the best possible musical start, by taking the plunge and signing up for lessons at an established music school - one where all the lessons are taught by deeply experienced professional faculty, under one roof.
But don’t just take our word for it – bring your child for a free intro lesson, come to one of our student recitals or parent events, and experience our musical community for yourself!