I know that may seem like a strange question, especially when it is a well established fact that music lessons offer a host of benefits to young and old alike.
But, summer is rapidly approaching when kids look forward to a break from books, studying, projects and homework and parents look forward to a less hectic schedule. For many kids and parents summer vacation also means taking a break from music lessons, as well. If you have spent $1000+ on your child’s music lessons throughout the school year and you think suspending lessons for the summer is a good idea, you may be wasting money. Here’s why:
What you don’t use you lose! Playing musical instruments uses motor skills that are learned and developed through repetition. Even taking just two weeks off can result in muscle atrophy. For the first month after returning to lessons, there is little more than backtracking and relearning what they have forgotten and you have already paid for them to learn. By continuing lessons throughout the summer, not only is backtracking unnecessary, but they will start the new school year off ahead of the game because they have used the time to hone their skills. This is also a more positive experience for your child; having to repeat old lessons can be discouraging.
Missed opportunity. Most musicians play multiple instruments. Does your child play piano only? When it comes time for junior high or high school and your child needs an elective, band may likely not be an option because, well, piano is not a marching instrument. And, if you are hoping your child can get a college scholarship, being multi-talented may give them more of an edge. Summer is a great time to try out another instrument without the stress of a hectic schedule and having more time to focus.
If you still think you are saving money by not paying for three months of lessons and saving yourself the trouble of driving your kid to their lessons, ask yourself this: Why am I paying for my child to have music lessons in the first place? Is it so they will have one more activity on top of school, sports and whatever else they have on their plates? Or is it because you want your child to have the myriad of benefits learning to play a musical instrument provides, not to mention the possibility of a college scholarship?
Perhaps think of it this way, by continuing music lessons throughout the summer it gives your child a summer activity that helps maintain consistency and routine without being overly demanding. It provides a balance to more physical activities like sports. Lesson times can be more flexible and relaxed. And lastly, both you and your child are getting the biggest bang for your buck.