Why Music Lessons?
I could go into a long winded rant about the benefits of music lessons. How it builds language skills and IQ in children and adults, how studies have shown it lessening the risk for dementia in older population, and how a large percentage (80-85%) of people making six figures or more have had some form of musical training. Instead, long time instructor James Lipka gives you his opinion on why face to face lessons have a hard time being replaced regardless of all the apps being developed.
Music Enriches Your Life.
You don't have to have aspirations of being a professional musician to experience the joy of playing a musical instrument. It will just make a more well rounded human being. Music is a primitive form of enjoyment. It's difficult to even quantify why we enjoy these patterns of sound. It's specific to each individual person, we have clients that are 70 years old that want to share music with their grandchildren, we also have kids that want to play metal and head bang. We have professional musicians and people that just want to play in their basement to blow off steam. It's a different function for everyone but most people have some desire to play, and the better you are the more enjoyable it is. Let's not forget community. I can personally attest, and just about every musician I know can attest to the fact that music has taken their life on a different trajectory.
What Do You Get Out of In-Person Guitar Lessons?
There are many kinesthetic and mechanical aspects that are learned and reinforced with real time face to face feedback. You see stylistic differences amongst players but good technique can go a long way in your development as a player. Learning from a qualified instructor doesn't mean you are going to compromise individuality, it just means you will maximize your style to work for you. And the longer you let that bad habit go, the longer it takes to correct it. So, instead of having to overcome challenges in the beginning, you will have instantaneous feedback. Lessons take the guesswork out of technique.
Is Music Theory Important?
Some players just learn tabs so they can learn to play songs they like. A good instructor emphasizes importance on having the player learn where that solo or song has come from. This way, you can really dissect what patterns that piece of music is comprised of, giving you a sound understanding of not only how to create your own compositions but learning other songs you enjoy quicker. If you're just learning numbers on a piece of paper, you have only one way of applying that information. You might be able to play that particular riff, but it ends there. If you want to play something similar to that in a different context and you don't understand where it came from, you have no way of applying it down the road. Our instructors are big on teaching where these rudiments are coming from. There is a lot of myth that there are great musicians/guitarists that don't know music theory. There are many great musicians who claim that they don't know much about music theory, however, we don't believe that they don't at least have a solid foundational understanding of how it works. I think they just have a different way of thinking about it. It's really important to conceptualize all that information when learning a song or practicing so you can use that information later. In a collaborative sense, music theory is your language when you are playing with other musicians that is how you're going to communicate with one another, that's where a lot of really great ideas come from.
What Are the Music Lesson Apps Missing?
The biggest issue is that there is no realtime feedback. Some of the apps have a play along feature that listens to what you're doing and lets you know if you're off time or playing the wrong notes. But the feedback it is missing is largely mechanical (the way you're holding the pick or how you're fretting a note). If you start a bad habit through those apps, there's no real way of correcting it unless you are under a watchful eye. And what we think is the most important portion it's missing is that you are not able to ask questions. The back and forth interaction between student and instructor is priceless and it's what you are really getting the value of. Everyone has a different learning style, whether it be tactical, auditory or kinesthetic, a qualified instructor can cater the way they teach you so that you are learning and retaining the information in the best way possible that suits you. A good instructor can ensure you're not missing little gaps of knowledge. Not to mention, you will rise to the occasion and be challenged by an experienced musician (your instructor). Something important to remember is to consider the platform where these apps exist. A lot are on youtube or apps that have a subscription service but especially youtube where a lot of ad revenue is generated by traffic. These apps promote an instant gratification aspect, slogans like "play your first song in five minutes" or "four weeks and you can shred like Eddie Van Halen." Typically what they are trying to do is get you to keep clicking and purchasing upgrades. And while there are parallels because instructors make a living from their students, the quality of having a qualified instructor far surpasses an app. What you get is accountability, from both student and instructor. The instructor has to sit with you every week to make sure what they teach you will make you a better player the next time they see you. It gives the student the accountability to practice what they were taught. Also, we are promoting long term development of your craft. James says, "you don't get anything for free on the guitar, you get out exactly what you put in." Developing a comprehensive long term approach on the guitar is priceless.
What We Offer
We offer lessons for voice, piano, guitar and bass. Our instructors each have a personalized approach and laundry list of qualifications. You can see their bios here.