Back to school shopping is in full force but if you haven’t shopped for music supplies yet – it’s not too late! Whether your child is taking music lessons in school, or you’re returning to music as an adult, it’s the perfect time to make sure that all the essentials necessary to succeed within the year’s music program are in place. Being ready and confident for music lessons both in and out of school greatly helps to keep students motivated and focused on their musical progress; no matter their age!
Here’s a short list of some musical tools that can help students with their music lessons, while boosting interest and enthusiasm about learning their chosen instrument:
- Do-It-Yourself Care Kits
From the very first day, proper instrument handling, cleaning and care should be established. This applies to both owned and rented instruments… and even voices! The sound and ease of use of an instrument that is properly cared for is world’s apart from an instrument that isn’t maintained. From getting enough sleep and staying hydrated to care for your vocal health, to consistent piano tuning and replacing guitar strings as needed, all of these basic care items will improve your music-making experience by creating better, more enjoyable sound. Caring for instruments is a habit that all students must take on – and they’ll be glad they did!
A simple combined tuner & metronome is a great tool for students, especially during at-home practice sessions. Aside from keeping time, it provides a way to develop and refine a sense of accurate pitch. There are several models that allow for added rhythm and pitch training… even smart phone apps that will help you learn music theory! What a great way to get a little musical practice in on your commute home from work. Ask your teacher for recommendations to get started.
- Music Stand
When practicing at home or at school, putting sheet music down on a counter or a table can greatly affect how a student plays (or sings!) for the worse. Having a music stand that allows upright viewing and can be adjusted to proper eye level promotes good playing form and posture. It is extremely important that students ensure they have proper playing posture to avoid repetitive strain injuries, or for singers, that they are utilizing proper breath support. This is a habit best begun from the very beginning of your studies! Capable music teachers are able to provide posture pointers to parents and guardians so they can monitor a child’s form while practicing at home, and adult students can benefit from practicing in front of a mirror.
- Method Books and Other References
While many music stores partner with local school districts to provide useful lesson books chosen by instrumental teachers, you can also contact the student’s music teacher at school (or at Cardon Studios!) to find out what references are recommended. Here are Cardon Studios, these helpful materials are included in each month’s membership fees!
- Instrument Starter Kits
If this is a student’s first foray into music lessons and you’re unsure about which accessories he’ll need, then you might want to consider an instrument-specific beginner’s kit. These are available for instruments of all kinds! Looking to keep costs down? You may be surprised how many local instrument rental options are available; even for digital pianos! As another smart budget option, used instruments can also provide a great value– with your teacher’s knowledgeable input, you can safely select a used instrument that still has lots of life!