SHERIDAN — So your child came home from school today and announced that he wants to begin playing an instrument.
Where do you start?
Local music instructors and business owners say the first thing to do is gauge the level of dedication and interest.
• Does you child have an instrument at home to practice on?
• Does your child have the patience to practice at least 20 minutes per day?
• Does your child (and do you) have the dedication to attend lessons?
If the answers to most of these questions were yes, the next thing to do is visit one of Sheridan’s music stores. There are two located on Main Street downtown that can get you started with an instrument.
In addition, these local music stores can get you started with private lessons.
“You should look for somebody that has credibility,” Morris Music Store and Studio Owner Shelly Morris said. “Talk to their students. Talk to the parents of the students and just ask for references.”
Morris said guitar is one of the most popular instruments that people want to learn, but she teaches everything from piano and voice lessons to violin.
CB Music and Repair, too, can offer a list of local one-on-one music instructors, instruments to get started and most anything else a budding aficionado could need.
While one-on-one lessons are not necessary to learn an instrument, Morris said working closely with an instructor can help avoid the formation of bad habits.
“One-on-one lessons, when you’re beginning, allow you to see exactly what the other person is doing,” Morris said. “A lot of times in large groups kids look to their buddies for guidance and they don’t always get it right. Instead of correcting things later, one-on-one lessons allow kids or really anyone to learn it right the first time.”
Morris said very few of her students participate in school bands or orchestra and she has had students who are very young, or as old as 82.
“No matter what age of student you’re teaching, the key is patience,” she said.
But if you don’t learn it quickly, Morris cautioned students not to give up.
“It takes a good six months to get the feel for any instrument,” she said. “Dedicate at least that much time to learning it. If after that you think it is too much work, or you just don’t like it, dump it. But, give it that six months.”