Teaching Yourself Music vs. Picking a Music Instructor
If you are new to or are looking to revisit an old musical talent, many ask the question whether to begin investing in lessons or teaching yourself. Obviously, the more economical choice is to teach yourself. Purchasing “how to” books and visiting web sites will not cost you more than approximately $100; however, choosing to take lessons from a professional instructor will make your learning experience much more interactive, comprehensive, and efficient. In other words, if you choose to use an instructor:
* They will answer your questions upon you asking them, rather than searching through books trying to find your answer.
* They will be able to notice anything you are improperly doing immediately, especially if you are unable to notice your own error.
* They will be able to teach you the easiest way for you to learn specific techniques, theory, or musical phrases based on your learning curve and personality.
If you do choose to use an instructor make sure you do your research first. Make sure whoever is teaching you is licensed, preferably has a music degree, and already has some sort of teaching experience. Also make sure you are paying the right price. Some studios will overcharge you with registration fees or administrative costs. Make sure if the studio you are looking at does this is legitimately charging you for the level of instruction you are receiving. If you are working with an individual not an employee of a studio, make sure they have legitimate documentation to support their ability to teach you. The reason for doing all of this so you aren’t wasting your money on someone who isn’t really an appropriate music teacher.
Teaching yourself is a do-able alternative to getting lessons. First you will need to visit your local book store or library and look for the most comprehensive guide on your instrument. Don’t worry, you won’t have to read the entire thing. Next, find the most direct, but still somewhat comprehensive book on your instrument. This book you will read. Read through this book whenever you have spare time to gain overall knowledge on everything you are and will be learning to do. Now, drop by your local music store, ask the clerk to direct you to the easiest adult lesson book method. This will be your main learning tool. Lesson books say everything your instructor would say, minus the instruction. This means you will need to read and learn all of the lessons and figure out the best way to relate them to the songs that follow each lesson. Youtube has become the greatest tool for independent learners because you can search for the song in your lesson book and normally find someone playing it online. Make sure you do this often, you will learn and understand things much quicker. Any time you have a general question, your quickest answer will be in your biggest comprehensive book that you purchased earlier. Simply turn to the index or glossary and find it, I’m sure it will be in there.
Furthermore, if your voice is your instrument, you will not find many vocal lesson books out there. In order to understand your voice you will want to find textbooks that explain how your voice works and purchase a comprehensive vocal warm-up and breathing CD.