The Importance of Summer Lessons

     Every year, when summer approaches, I am inevitably asked:

"Are summer lessons important?" and/or "Can the student take the time off?"

  In a way these types of questions make sense, since most students go to public or private school and take those months off, ready to start the next year fresh when summer winds to a close.

     However, playing the cello is not like learning any subject that is taught in school.  Learning to play the cello, like any physical activity, benefits from momentum.  As time goes by, and the more you progress, the more you are able to progress!

     Any time taken off is detrimental to a student's progress (as any student who has missed even one lesson can probably attest to), so imagine what a set back 3 months would be! A good deal of the knowledge gained from all the months of practice would be forgotten and would be time consuming to relearn. In addition to taking up quite a bit of lesson time, this is a very frustrating experience for the student.

     Think of it this way: when learning times tables, it seems that once you learn it you will never forget.  This is true, since a person's brain is capable of keeping a vast amount of knowledge in it without breaking a sweat, and without forgetting!  The problem is that cello requires not only brain power, but muscle power (memory and strength of the muscles).

     When a student returns from a long break, their brain remembers, for the most part, exactly how to play (although, this is less true for new students who have yet to fully grasp the technical part of playing).  No harm, right?  Well, they sit down and find virtually every aspect of playing more difficult than they remember.  What could be more frustrating?

     The reason for this difficulty is that although the student's brain remembers how to play, every other part of their body has long forgotten!  The muscles in the body have memories, but those memories are short term, and they have to be reminded how to do what they do. Additionally, the muscles' strength and flexibility have to be maintained regularly.

Summer is the best time of year!

Summer lessons are also an excellent time to make incredible progress for many reasons!  The student  has more free time, and often times that results in more practice every day.  Also, there is less responsibility clogging up the student's mind, allowing them to focus better during that increased time.  The result?  Terrific progress!

All in all, summer lessons are some of the best lessons students have all year.  Every week is satisfying, and every week yields great results.

© Adam's violoncello studio - Located in Chester County, PA
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