The problem with learning instruments during school hours.
Updated: Apr 29
No parent could be blamed for jumping at the convenience of their child learning an instrument during school hours, but there are too many cons that far outweigh that one pro. Of course, not all cons apply in every school context and there are some excellent instrumental teachers across some schools in WA, but no school can avoid all of these issues.
You know little about your child's teacher. In most school contexts, you know little about your child's teacher. You don't know their background, education or experience, and schools - especially private schools - tend to hire only alumni and people they already know irrespective or education, experience and mindset.
You have little communication with your child's teacher. You might be lucky to get the occasional email but in most school contexts you don't have weekly check-ins with your child's teacher. You don't really know how your child is progressing. You really don't know what is expected of your child. You don't really know how your child is responding to the lessons.
You have no control over attendance. Often students forget to show up because you're relying on a child to remember to go to their lesson when they're engrossed in their art, maths or science or worse still, at lunch.
You don't know what really happens in lessons. In most school contexts, you don't how your child is really behaving in their lessons, how well they are maintaining focus, etc and it applies to the teacher, too! You don't know how the teacher speaks to your child or if they are lazy and waste time chatting or faffing about. Maybe they take regular trips to the toilet and canteen without making up the lost time, because, let's face it, most kids don't care if the teacher wastes time. Kids don't see the lesson as an investment as parents do and certainly don't have the same expectations.
You have no assurance of quality of teaching. In most school contexts, instrumental staff are subcontracted. No one is managing the quality of the teaching taking place. No one is mentoring and training the teachers or providing professional development. No one is checking in from time to time with the teachers and students. No one is crosschecking the teacher's and your child's perceptions about progress. Instrumental teaching for schools is merely an additional service, and in private schools, it is an easy way of making a few extra dollars for nothing but it is not their primary business activity and as such, they don't treat it like a business.
Your child is missing out on important learning. Curricula are already oversized and teachers are already overworked; teachers struggle to cover the entire curriculum as it is (and that's not there fault). Taking your child out of class makes the teachers' job harder and puts your child at a disadvantage.
In short: in most school contexts, you know little about the teacher, you don't really know how the lessons are going, and you have no assurances of quality management. Don't forget, you're paying for it, so why not do it properly. Music lessons are an investment.
Learning at Advantage Music Academy removes all of these barriers. We choose our staff based only on four things: their education, experience, skill, and mindset - nothing else. You get to know your child's teacher. You are able to talk to them after every lesson, or sit in the lessons, or even message the teacher through a classroom management app if you really want. Your child doesn't miss any lessons unless you don't take them to their lesson. You can see what your child's teacher does in each lesson, how they interact with your child and how they use and keep time which you pay for. Your child's teacher undergoes mentoring, training and professional development; they are subject to quality management and are under the supervision of an award-winning educator with postgraduate qualifications in educational leadership who talks to the teachers, the students and parents and ensures that each student is receiving the education that they deserve and your child is not missing out on classes and tests. Your child learns in the right environment. The simple act of getting ready at home, getting in the car and making the trip fosters greater value for learning.
Learn the right way. www.advantagemusicacademy.com