Music lessons are one of the best bargains available today! Compare music lesson fees with tennis, golf or flying lessons, and you'll see what a great value you're getting. Actually, though, the monetary cost of lessons alone is insufficient criteria for judging whether they are "cheap" or "expensive." Most of the time, you get what you pay for. For example, lessons, which cost $25 per half hour, may be a better bargain than lessons, which cost $10 per half hour. In fact, it might be wise to ask probing questions of a teacher who charges significantly less than the competition; there may be a very good reason.

Two important things to keep in mind are:
1.A low price is not a substitute for competent instruction.
2.To save money, you must be prepared to make a long-range commitment to regular lesson attendance and honest daily practice.

Competent instruction

How can competent teaching be assured? One way is by referral. If a friend is pleased, the chance is good that you will be pleased also. But ask questions anyway, for sometimes folks think a student is progressing when he is only learning new songs, and there is a big difference. The question is "What progress is the student making musically?"

1.Is the understanding of music theory growing?
2.Is the quality of technique and interpretation improving?
3.Is the literature growing progressively more complex?
4.Is the student becoming more literate musically?

According to the American Music Conference, 3 out of 4 students who begin private music study drop out within the first year, never again to know the educational benefits and enjoyment of music. Yet study after study has proven that any normal student can learn and benefit educationally from instrumental music study. Seen in this light, cheap instruction costs dearly!

Once in the hands of a competent teacher, the most efficient way to reduce tuition cost is to maximize honest practice time, for music is learned in practice, not in the lesson! The teacher can show the student how to practice, but the student learns by practicing.

In effect, doubling honest practice as the real cost of learning by the student to play a musical instrument. This is why we consider our tuition cost as representing a convenient method of budgeting the cost of an instrumental music education over an extended period of time, rather than being based on a haphazard number of "lessons."

Finally, it is important to note that a musical education cannot be "bought" any more than a college education can. The financial investment, quality of instruction and adequacy of facilities  these are of secondary importance. An investment in oneself is the first and most important requirement!

Equally important is whether you are prepared to make the necessary commitment for regular lesson appointments. Will you engage in regular daily practice so that required skill levels are maintained? Will you make these commitments over the period of time needed to accomplish the goals you wish to reach?

If you are prepared to meet these challenges, you can expect to achieve your goals. We sincerely hope your decision will allow you to enjoy a lifetime of music-making.
On Practice: How Much Should
Lessons Cost?
Contributed by Deby Benton-Grosjean
Edited by Daniel Roest
your source for guitar excellence
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