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Self-discipline has always been the most fundamental principle of music instruction. Embarking on learning an instrument or learning to sing is a long term commitment. No one becomes a concert pianist overnight.
The Royal Conservatory of Music is the most widely recognized music institution in Canada. The RCM method requires that students complete practical and theoretical exams at each achievement level, in order to earn a certificate. I find that setting an exam goal each year really serves as a measure of progress and motivation. It is a rewarding experience for a child to work at something all year and come away with something tangible, and it also teaches children to take responsibility for their own learning, for deadlines, and for mistakes.
Kiwanis competitions provide an opportunity for students to obtain critical feedback from another musical expert and earn a tangible reward. It is also an opportunity to perform in front of an audience – a skill which is of paramount importance in life and in musicianship. When adequately prepared, students come away this experience more confident than ever. It is expected that all students will participate in at least one class per year. From time to time, students may also be required to perform for their parents or in studio recitals.
Music lessons should be fun! To ensure that this experience continues to be rewarding and enjoyable for both of us, it is necessary to practise every day… even if it is only for 15-30 minutes per day at first. With that said, it is difficult to learn a new instrument, and it takes some perseverance! A little push will be necessary from time to time! If your child is not progressing over a number of weeks, however, I will let you know. I do understand that other commitments occasionally disrupt the practise routine, but I find I have the greatest success with students who love to play piano and do not see it as a chore.