Don't Want to Buy an Instrument? Start With Voice Lessons.
Surprise! You and your children are actually walking, breathing instruments. Which means you don't actually have to buy an expensive violin or piano or guitar to get started with music lessons. Start your child with singing lessons to find out if he or she has what it takes to warrant investing in something made out of wood or metal. And while you're finding this out, your child will be getting a head start by absorbing the foundations of rhythm, harmony and melody.
It's not just about the singing.
The merits of voice lessons can go way beyond just simple skill acquisition. Put your child in a group voice class and he or she will also pick up profound interpersonal skills. For example:
1. Communication Skills - both verbal and nonverbal
Making music with other human beings requires complex, nuanced communication skills. How you say it (or sing it) absolutely matters -- maybe even more than what you say. Singers cue one another with the content of the music -- the correct notes and rhythms at the correct times -- but they also use body language, dynamics and emotional content.
2. The Art of Listening
Of course, excellent communication requires excellent listening skills. We often think of music as the act of making melodic and rhythmic sound, but that generalization quickly expands to something deeper when you try to make music with a group. One on one voice lessons are sufficient for learning technique. Voice classes, however, will also teach you how to listen on a whole new level.
3. The Art of Problem Solving & Negotiation
Being in a music group is sort of like being in a marriage. Except you often have multiple "spouses" to contend with. Diplomacy, as you can imagine, is essential.
4. Decision Making & Assertiveness
A group musical performance -- whether in the classroom, or one the stage -- is the result of a series of collaborative decisions. Which piece will we do? Who's singing lead on this section? How will we distribute the harmony parts? Bring songwriting (something we touch on in voice classes at Music House) and the decisions multiply exponentially.
But My Child Doesn't Want Voice Lessons.
This might be something you've been thinking while reading this. But it only makes sense for a child to demonstrate a certain amount of commitment before you make the big leap. Here's where you'll truly find out how badly your child wants to play saxophone, drums, trumpet, or some other specific instrument. Tell her she has to complete 6 months of voice lessons or classes before you'll buy that expensive "toy" being asked for. If your child completes the challenge, not only will she have proven her dedication to you, but she'll also have learned foundational musical concepts that will jump start her instrumental learning. And one more thing -- your child will have a great time in the process (group voice classes at Music House are a lot of fun). It's a win, win, win situation.
So go ahead and take that first step. It might actually be the wiser choice to go ahead and dive into singing lessons or classes before agonizing over that instrument purchase decision. Hour long voice classes are only $99 per month at Music House, and they're perfect for beginners.