I have such fantastic memories of summer vacation…friends, swimming, VBS, staying up late…and yes, piano lessons. Summer lessons were some of my favorite because I wasn’t focused on recitals or competitions, but had the opportunity to learn duets with other students, and play pop and musical theatre tunes! I also had more time to practice, free of a demanding school year’s hectic schedule. I am thankful I had a good teacher who knew that music is a journey that lasts throughout the entire year. I am also thankful that my parents heeded the good advice of my teacher.
As a piano teacher of nearly 30 years now, I can say wholeheartedly that it is those students who continue their music lessons over the summer that excel in music. Not only that, they are the students that stick with music! I’ve seen numerous students over the years who took a month of more off from their music studies only to return to lessons frustrated that their skills were no longer in place. Generally speaking, students who do not take summer lessons spend at least the first 6 weeks of the fall, sometimes longer, trying to recoup the technique and skills they have lost. Talk about how to stifle motivation! In addition, having to spend a good portion of a semester in review isn’t making the most of the parent’s investment in music education.
At CAM we believe music is a lifelong journey. Evidently legendary cellist, Pablo Casals, thought so too. When he was asked why he continued to practice at age 90 and he replied, “I’m beginning to see some improvement.”
So keep those skills you’ve worked so hard to build this school year by taking summer lessons. Summer at CAM is an invigorating time! You’ll find summer to be a great opportunity to build new skills, try a different style of music, or even begin a new instrument!