4 Reasons to Keep Your Child in Music Lessons Over the Summer

Summer vacation is just around the corner! No school, no homework, no tests, and hours upon hours of free time to spend with their friends doing whatever they please!

Your kids are probably looking forward to the stress-free, fun-filled environment the summer has to offer. As students of all ages start getting ready for their summer vacations, it’s important that they’re allowed to enjoy themselves. After all, they’ve earned a bit of a respite. That begin said, summer is no reason to stop all their musical activities. In fact, continuing their lessons throughout the summer months will only add to that enjoyment, while also providing valuable continuing education in their passion – music!

Whether your child has big dreams of becoming a famous rock star, performing a recital at Symphony Hall, becoming the next big pop sensation, or just being the best musician they can be, music doesn’t stop with the school year.

Why Continue During the Summer?

If you take a moment to look back over the past school year, you’ll start to see just how far your child as come in regards to their education – but learning isn’t confined to the classroom and the school year; knowledge is taken in every moment of every day. Likewise, building a love of music and developing the necessary skills are also things that don’t end with the school year.

Music stays with you wherever you go, wherever you are, and without continued practice, lessons, and performances, some of the new skills they gained during the year can be lost.

That’s why this week we’re looking at why it’s so important to keep up with music lessons during the summer vacation.

Sharpens & Sustains Skills

While in school, no matter the subject, kids often take regular tests to measure and maintain their skill level. The testing is done to ensure that they can immediately remember information they learned over the course of the past week. Quarterly testing makes sure they have mastered the lessons over the last few months, and so on.

Music should be treated exactly the same.

The very best way to keep the skills they learned over the year sharp is to exercise them on a regular basis. Their musical skills and knowledge should be in constant use, allowing them to recall past lessons while also growing and developing as a musician.

The Pressure is Off

Summer is known for being a time of care-free fun and excitement, and we couldn’t agree more! Summer lessons have the advantage of being more relaxed and flexible, working around your schedule and keeping in line with your child’s expectations for the summer. While the value of each lesson doesn’t change much once the summer begins, the learning atmosphere and structure often reflect the “feeling” of summer, keeping students of all ages happy and excited to come back each week!

More Focus

With all this talk of summer fun and freedom, without all the pressure of the school year, you might think it would be more difficult for students to stay focused on the task at hand during lessons. But in actuality, the opposite is true! With a lighter school load and fewer school-related extra-curricular activities, student’s brains are actually primed to focus better. This makes summer the perfect time to zero in on a specific goal and enjoy intense-but-fun practice sessions.

A Great Opportunity for a Special Project

The one aspect of summer that we can all agree is depressing is how short it is! It’s only a few months and gets even shorter when you factor in travel or summer camps. This shortness makes it an ideal time to trade in those weekly practice plans for a project-based approach.

Teacher and student can work together to devise one or two big goals to explore during their time together, which the student can work on at their own pace throughout the summer. The project should feel fun and exciting for the student, and should focus on an area that they haven’t yet covered during the school year. Some examples of what this project might be include learning to improvise or to compose. Summer is the perfect time to re-evaluate and ask your child to think about what they really enjoy about music, and what they would like to learn more about.

Here’s an ideal situation where a special project could be explored: your child and their teacher are all ready for the end-of-school year recital a few weeks early, leaving the last lessons before the recital open and available for “explore-your-curiosity” lessons. The teacher and student can talk about different avenues of study, and when the summer session starts, your student is already off and running on a solid summer goal.

Summer Project Ideas

  • Learn a more difficult pop song in an unfamiliar key signature.
  • Work with a new and/or specialized method or technique book.
  • Choose a composer or songwriter the student admires and learn three of their songs.
  • Write a medley of their favourite songs.
  • Explore a new and unfamiliar genre.
  • Focus on specific elements, like ear training or music theory, that don’t necessarily need a performance, but can help enhance the learning and musical experience in the long-term.

What if Summer Lessons Aren’t Possible?

Sometimes, for whatever reason, getting your child into a summer program isn’t feasible. That’s okay! There are ways to help keep their skills and knowledge where it should be, and even improving, during the months away from their school music program.

The easiest way to keep your student focused – and really a good idea for any kind of extended absence – is to have the teacher and student agree on five or six songs to make up the student’s “official repertoire.” The idea would be for your child to agree to continue to practice and do maintenance work throughout the summer to keep those songs in great performance shape. For accountability, the student would be expected to perform the songs in a sort of mini-recital for their teacher at the beginning of the next school year

It’s also a great idea to help your student explore the curiosities of music on their own, even if it means just listening to genres they’ve never considered before.

Outside of practice and study, parents can help encourage their children’s connection to music by attending outdoor concerts, or signing them up for music-related summer camps.

If summer camp seems like the ideal solution to keep your student up to date while also giving them the freedom to have some fun during their summer vacation, look no further than our incredible list of summer camp programs! Sign up before room runs out!