Wether you are here because you have scheduled your 1st private music lesson, or you are here because you are just considering taking lessons, I am here to help you know what to expect from your first time meeting with your new instructor. I remember getting anxiety over my first lesson because I had no idea what to expect. I am writing this because I want to lessen any anxiety you may have yourself by giving you an idea of what will take place!
What to bring to your first music lesson
Besides the instrument itself, I have never not needed a pencil during a lesson! Also bring a folder to put music in as well as some scratch paper to take notes on.
If you have sheet music you want to work on, you can bring that to the lesson, otherwise your new instructor will provide things to work on that they feel is a good starting point for you.
What to be prepared for
Be prepared to say what you already know about music. Your teacher will want to know where you stand with music. Can you only play one note? Can you play just a few songs? Do you not know anything yet and are staring fresh?
For the intermediate musician, be prepared to know what you are playing on. Look at the brand your instrument is, what reed size you use, etc. Your teacher will want to know what you are using in order to better help you excel on the equipment you have. If you are brand new to music, your teacher will probably just want to know if you rent or own your instrument.
Be prepared to be asked about your musical goals, what you want out of lessons. Ask yourself, are you taking lessons because you just wanted to try something new? Are you going to audition for something and want extra help preparing? Do you have a song you would eventually want to learn how to play? Do you have a genre of music you’re more interested in over another? These are questions to ponder before going to your lesson. Be mindful about what you are trying to achieve.
If you have already played your instrument for a while, be prepared for your instructor to want to go back to basics. This is so that they can ensure you have a strong and proper base to build off of. This is most common for self-taught musicians going into lessons for the first time.
What is expected of you, the student
Universally, private music teachers expect their students to practice outside of lessons. Music is one of those things that require routine repetition to get good at. And trust me, your instructor will know if you haven’t been practicing.
But don’t worry, at the end of lessons, your teacher will outline very clearly what they want you to practice at home and how to do it.
A lot of times, you will play something for your teacher, they will say what parts were good and why, as well as what part were bad and why. The teacher will then give you tools to practice in order to get the bad parts up to shape.
Additionally in your first music lesson, be prepared for you instructor to outline their own expectations of you. Each instructor is different and may ask for other things of you such as keeping a practice log, doing research on a composer, listening to other songs that are similar to the one you are learning, etc.
What you should expect
Over time, you should expect to see yourself learn self discipline in practice. Eventually you will see yourself playing things you never thought you could.
You should expect challenges, as well as aspects of music that comes easy to you. The beautiful thing about lessons is that they are designed to go at your own pace and focus in on what you want/need.
Slowly but surely, you will find yourself becoming a better and better musician over time. You will find deeper meanings behind music and also find yourself fascinated by music.
You should expect playing music to be fun, relaxing, meditative, confidence-giving or whatever it is music is to you.
My last tip is to come into lessons expecting to learn music, not just how to play a bunch of songs. Learning music includes everything from history, to scales, to reading the notes on the staff, to why a piece was written. All of those things will help you become a well rounded musician that you can be proud of.