Frequently Asked Questions
Does my child have to do exams?
No your child does not have to sit exams. Most of our children learn for fun and we adapt their lesson plans (and pieces) to reflect this.
BUT if you and your child want to do lessons then YES we offer the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) leisure and traditional streams for piano, voice and guitar.
How long should my child learn for?
Learning a musical instrument requires a long commitment. While your child will show progress every week, it can take years to master an instrument. So we suggest starting lessons with the view of not stopping. Hopefully your child will grow a lifelong love of music from their lessons and their music time at home with you.
If you do need a time frame, research shows that brain development is significantly effected in positive ways when children learn an instrument for at least two years.
Do you offer group lessons?
Under special circumstances we offer small groups (2 or 3 children). Please ask us for more information. Our experience (and the research) however, shows that children will get more out of a short 1:1 session than a longer group session when learning an instrument.
How much practice should my child do?
Music learning should be fun for our little people. There is nothing more fun and more rewarding than mastering a new piece! This takes practice, and practice takes time and repetition. Our little people should be aiming to practise two to three times a week for 5 minutes, extending to 10. Practice can be fun, playing around on their own, improvising, making up songs, and it should contain revision of the work done in class.
As children get older, practice becomes more important and also helps them to learn about discipline and commitment. Practicing two to three times a week is great for older children too (8-10 years) if for longer periods. BUT what is EVEN BETTER is if they do a short practice every day, and most of the time they enjoy their practice time.
How long are the lessons?
At Music Beat we offer 15 minute and 30 minute lessons so that we can work in with your child’s ability to concentrate and learn and also your budget. Just remember, if you do a shorter lesson then it is even more important to ensure some practice happens between lessons, as we don’t have as long for revision.
When should children start learning an instrument?
Children should be singing and making music from birth we think! Little kids are incredibly musical and we want to maintain this as they enter school. We start lessons from school age (prep) and in some circumstances from pre-prep. If you want to start your children earlier look into teaching methodologies like Suzuki.
My 6 year old loves to sing. Should she do voice lessons?
At Music Beat we love singing, and believe all children should sing all the time!
From a technique perspective, children don’t really need to ‘learn’ to sing until they are at least 9 or 10 years old. For younger children we recommend joining a community choir, like the Piccolos at Voices of Birralee, where the focus of the singing is on developing aural skills, group skills and enjoying the socialisation that comes with singing with others.
Having said that though, these days many young children come to us for lessons early because they copy the TV shows (you know the ones!) and therefore develop belting technique that is not good for little voices.
So if you want your little one to learn singing talk to us. We will set up a program that is age appropriate, and from a pedagogical stand will focus on good breathing, posture, tone and gentle singing.
What if my child wants to learn the guitar?
Great! We love the guitar and we will help them become their own rockstar! We believe that all children who learn an instrument need to understand the theory that informs music playing. So our guitar students learn to read music as well and learn where all the notes fall on the fret board.
We also know that little people want to play from the get go, which can be hard on a fret board, so at the same time we teach the children one finger chords, so they make a sound and get to play from the get go!
What is the best instrument to learn?
There is no one instrument that is best to learn for children, and often the best one can be the one that they are most interested in!
If your child does not have a preference, and you are unsure we suggest keyboard as an excellent beginner instrument. This is because the children can see the notes, as they are visually laid out in front, and this also helps with learning their position on the music staff.
Playing the piano/keyboard is also an excellent cross lateral activity as it requires both hands, and when you add listening and reading music to that the brain is getting an awesome work out!
We also recommend keyboard because little fingers can play the keyboard more easily than the piano and most woodwind or stringed instruments.