Making music lessons a priority
Taking up instruments can prove beneficial
LEARNING an instrument is not just about sitting down and playing some notes on a page.
It’s about making friends, building confidence and gaining life-long skills that can all be done in the classroom.
This is according to Myfanwy Schenk, who has been a music tutor for about 16 years, specialising in piano and violin.
She believes learning to play an instrument while at school is great because it helps build kids’ confidence.
Mrs Schenk also believes learning a musical instrument is also an easy way for students to make friends and build connections in the school environment.
“When you’re learning an instrument at school in particular, there are all these ensembles you can be part of,” she said.
“You’ve got band and, if you know music already, being in a choir becomes a lot easier.”
“Then you have the opportunities to do duets and trios and just get together with other people.”
In terms of confidence, Mrs Schenk believes learning to play instruments and taking up music can strengthen a child’s sense of self.
“You have to practise so you sound better when you’re in front of your teacher,” she said.
“In a group lesson you’ve got your peers there beside you so that works on getting up and presenting yourself to other people.”
During the average private lesson, teachers and students worked together on technical and stylistic element.
Technical elements include scales and drills, while stylistic elements include putting emotion into the pieces being learnt.
Taking up an instrument in school is also a great way to release built-up emotions.
“For a lot of people, music is emotional,” Mrs Schenk said.
“And, for them, music is one way to express the happiness or frustration or sorrow and just getting it out.”
Instead of digging your head in a phone or laptop, pick up an instrument and try your hand at learning something new in the school term, she suggested.
To people who have always wanted to learn an instrument but are unsure about how to start, Mrs Schenk has one simple piece of advice: “Give it a go”.