Parents MOST Frequently Asked Private Lesson Question: Process?!
I’m a parent of two teenagers (that’s Josie above on the left as a 9 year old…now 16!). I’ve watched them work through countless curriculum at multiple schools. And here is what’s hard…trusting a curriculum. Yes, letting go of our need to micro manage our children’s experience. Another way I put it to myself: Getting out-of-the-way and allowing the process to work…Allowing them to succeed at their own pace, discovering the value of a curriculum in their own way.
It isn’t easy. These people are our most precious possessions. We have been advocating since birth for them. The hard work we face as parents is letting go.
At Brooklyn Music Factory, the #1 most frequently asked parent question is about process. We are a radically different approach to music education. We are most likely nothing like the lessons you had as a kid. Naturally, you have questions. Most parents do.
- Your child doesn’t seem to practice their instrument enough.
- Your child can’t sit down and show off flashy pieces they have learned that week.
- Your teacher is asking your child to NOT play their instrument but rather play a game that requires listening and clapping?!
- Where is the book? Where are the pages they can check off each week?
- Half the time they are not even reading music!
Let’s face it, you expected more from a year of lessons……At least based on what you understood music lessons to be about.
These are the sentiments we hear. These are some of the questions that come up often.
And here is why those concerns are totally natural AND your child’s progress is moving at exactly the right pace.
First and foremost, we need to recognize that Brooklyn Music Factory has a truly unique purpose. We inspire musicians and build community. Nowhere is there mention of becoming a little virtuoso. Nowhere is there mention of ultimate mastery (though our games get your child pretty darn close!).
We inspire musicians and build community.
Why? Because we believe when you combine a joyful approach to learning with an infectious social environment, the chances of becoming a life long musician increase exponentially. Our chance of success with your child goes way up.
And…How do we measure success?
Well…purpose #1 is pretty easy to measure… Is your child excited to come to Brooklyn Music Factory every week for their lesson? And… eventually as they grow new practice habits and mature in their musical identity (this usually happens around the 2nd or 3rd year), are they sitting down on their own and playing music at home 3-4 times a week?
Inspiration = Self Motivation
This is where the ‘getting out of the way’ part is so important. Our goal as parents is to nurture self motivated musical explorers. Brooklyn Music Factory has a very clear system for partnering with you on that. But it is a gradual and sometimes, painfully slow process.
For purpose #2, this is where most parents struggle. This is the true leap. This is what differentiates our program from almost every other music school in the country. We nurture and train every musician to listen and play beyond themselves. Why? Because we believe that music is a social art form and the ultimate purpose for all that hard work practicing is to grow a stronger community. Yes, your child is learning to express themselves, build study habits, expand their technique, strengthen their ears, groove, and improvise all as a service to a greater cause: building lasting connections with other kids just like themselves.
Community = Connection.
So, when asking yourself whether your child is progressing fast enough for all the time and money you are investing (or plan on investing), please start by asking yourself what exactly are you looking for? What are your goals from music lessons? If the answer aligns with Brooklyn Music Factory’s purpose: You want to nurture self motivated learners and explorers in the arts + You want your child to make lasting connections through music… then ask yourself how you are measuring those outcomes.
Our curriculum revolves around gigs and games.
Gigs and games!
The BLAM (Big Lessons About Music) games have literally hundreds of rounds that your child has to pass. And building new connections comes through playing dozens and even hundreds of gigs…. These core components of our curriculum need a solid 7-10 years to work to their full potential. If your child is 7 right now, you can expect an incredibly confident, creative, and connected 17-year-old in just 10 short years.
And patience is not easy.
Parenting sure as heck isn’t easy. But know this: The time and intent put into the Brooklyn Music Factory process/curriculum is done with the utmost love and attention to detail. We expect to succeed and we continuously refine the curriculum as a community to ensure the greatest chance of success with your child. Not a week goes by that we are not working as a team to find some way to enhance how we teach. If your values and purpose align with ours, you can be confident that our process will result in outcomes you can celebrate.
It will take patience (and most likely a slight mindset shift) but we believe the reward is worth it.