It would be a better world with more places like this one. The Better World School of Music in Northern California is a well-respected music teaching studio that offers private lessons in voice and a vast array of instruments. I teach drum lessons there to a varying number of kids and adults every week. I’m also the studio’s own personal J.W. Pepper rep with rotating hours of service.
Private music teachers have always held a special place in music education along with their colleagues in public schools. Outside of school, young musicians from successful middle and high school programs are encouraged to find good private teachers to help develop their skills. Private lessons provide one-on-one attention that can eliminate early problems before they become bad habits. Savvy music directors know to compile information on local studios for interested band and orchestra parents.
There’s a synergy between these two kinds of music teachers. Here’s a fictional example of how music teachers from two different institutions build mutual support:
Mr. Murphy is a devoted high school band director who returns to band camp with a surprising infusion of inexperienced music students. Overjoyed about his growing program, he also ponders how to raise the standard of musicianship in what at first glance looks like a rebuilding year. With budget cuts, he doesn’t have access to a staff of specialists to coach woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
Mr. Murphy does his homework on local private music studios; at the same time he fields inquiries from private teachers in the area who are looking for referrals to grow their studios.
Mrs. Franklin is the director of one such studio– her phone is ringing nonstop with all the high school students coming for lessons! She realizes that she is now understaffed and will need some new teachers to share the workload in the studio. The end result is a win-win-win for everyone.
Mr. Murphy’s band goes on to have a very successful year with his bigger crop of music students, and private teachers have found new musical opportunities to meet the community’s need for instruction. And of course, the biggest winners are the students themselves, now enjoying music at a higher level.
I’d like to think that to ensure a vital music community, public and private teachers establish a rapport such as this. As unapologetically idealistic as this sounds, I think it’s at least worthy of further thought from both groups.
If you have a music studio success story that deserves mention, please feel free to contact me. As my guitarist would yell before our wedding gigs, “We take requests!”
Better World School of Music: www.bwschoolofmusic.com