CSP Team Note: We recently spoke to George Ramsay, co-founder of Bold Music Lessons, about the importance of keeping kids playing instruments and listening to music all summer long. Hope you enjoy this interview – lots of good Smarty tips!
What are some tips for keeping your child’s music strong over the summer?
Even though summer schedules are chaotic, there is plenty of time to practice music over the summer break. First off, don’t pause your lessons! Regression is no fun, and summer is an excellent time to get focused practice in. Carve out some time each day to practice, and make it a habit.
If your child is already taking weekly music classes, why is it important to keep it going through the summer months?
As I said above, regression is no fun. The fact of the matter is if you stop lessons over the summer, you will most likely not pick up your instrument until you resume, and taking months off from playing a difficult instrument is a bad idea. You WILL forget things. Everything in music builds upon itself, and the best way to keep progressing is to stay consistent.
Why is summer a good time to start music lessons?
Summer is a great time to start music lessons because you can focus more deeply on your instrument without having to worry about school work piling up. Learning music doesn’t have to be the number one priority in your life, but if you get in the habit of practicing over the summer when there are fewer distractions (and no school), that habit will carry over into the school year.
What are some tips for keeping the kids practicing during the “unstructured” summer months?
Practice first thing in the morning. I hate to call practicing a chore, but to a degree, it is! No matter how good you are, you can always get better, and practice is key. If you knock out practice early in the day you’ll feel energized, productive and accomplished. It’s a win-win!
Are there any good recording apps you’d recommend for kids to hear themselves play?
I’m a fan of good ol’ fashioned voice memos or videos on a smartphone. I’m sure there are apps as well, but if you can record yourself with the push of a button and watch/listen back, that is about all you need. Listening to yourself play is an excellent way to self-critique. It can be painful to hear yourself, especially when you make a mistake, but music is all about trial and error, and hearing mistakes allows you to correct them!
What are some fun, family-friendly local venues to hear live music and get “inspired” to play?
Breweries are always fun, and most of them are open to all ages. Music-specific spots we like are The Evening Muse, The Neighborhood Theater, Symphony Park and the Whitewater Center (in particular the RiverJam series). There is TONS of live music happening all over Charlotte every day, and just as many awesome musicians in our city making great music. Supporting live, local music is a great way to help the music community here, and it can inspire you to play, too! Our favorite open mics are at The Evening Muse and Smokey Joes, but there are many others. Another awesome and inspiring music event unique to Charlotte is the Tosco Music Party.
More on Bold Music Lessons:
Bold Music is the premier music lesson provider in the Charlotte area. Specializing in in-home music lessons, we come to your home for top quality and convenient instruction on a variety of instruments. Bold Music strives to promote the power of music, provide role models for our students, and nurture skilled, confident musicians – all the while having fun!
Click here to listen to our podcast with George Ramsay, co-founder of Bold Music.