As summer approaches we all begin to go ga-ga over the idea of our upcoming vacations. Perhaps picturing ourselves sitting on a quiet beach somewhere (in the sun we hope) or contemplating some unfilled days of relaxation just doing whatever comes to mind.
Too often though the initial reaction to the summer break idea is to withdraw from music lessons and completely disengage from practicing. With good reason we discourage this at WAM. WHY?
Our experience shows that most beginner and intermediate level students become so frustrated after a long break they quit music lessons altogether. Students lose a lot of technical ability over a break longer than three weeks. Unlike academics at school, studying music involves academics AND physiology. It takes know how to make great music and physical prowess (technique) to pull it off. The loss of physical ability over an extended break creates a lot of frustration that is very difficult for young students to overcome.
Now your question may be whether or not WAM teachers take vacations from music practice and study. Yes we do! But we’re professional musicians. We’ve learned to make the most efficient use of practice time and, importantly, we’ve learned what to expect after a break. We know that our technique, skill and memory will not be at their best at that first post-vacation practice session. But we also know how to recover it very quickly. New students don’t know this nor are they at a confident technical level which enables them to quickly recoup what they’ve lost. Bottom-line: students need to stay engaged with their music throughout the summer.
Hey, take a short break! It’s encouraged. But keep it down to two or three weeks at most. Talk to the staff at our Front Desk and tell them you want to take advantage of the “Lesson Hold Option.”
Staying engaged in practice through the summer will ensure that there will be no loss of musicianship or forward progress and with the "Lesson Hold Option" you won’t risk losing your lesson slot at WAM.