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Music Lessons in Toronto: What to Expect Before Getting Started

When first jumping into music lessons, there are a few things to consider and items to prepare prior to your first session. While each music school offers different things, it’s still important to remember that your music lessons should feel good for you or your child and work well with your lifestyle, goals, and schedule! Whether you’re thinking of learning how to play an instrument or you’re looking to sign your child up, read on to learn what to expect before getting started with music lessons in Toronto.

Student taking violin lessons in Toronto

1. Choose your instrument

When some people choose to learn how to play music, they know right away which instrument they’re interested in. For others, it may take some time and research to find the right fit. If you sound like the latter, don’t worry! Not everyone may gravitate towards specific instruments but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn how to play. First, think of your favourite music and/or your top bands. What type of sound do they have? If you’re into rock and alternative music, you may enjoy learning how to play the drums or guitar. If you like jazz, a brass or woodwind instrument may come naturally to you. Or if you like classical, playing the piano could pique your interest! Learning how to play an instrument that is heavily featured in your favourite music can help ensure you enjoy playing and will keep you interested in the long haul.

While this method can help you choose the right instrument, it’s not always 100% accurate. Make sure to do outside research on your prospective instrument and consider talking to people who play said instrument. You can also go to your local music store or school to speak to professionals and try out a few options for yourself! If you’re interested in a general music education and not quite sure which instrument is right for you or your child, the piano is the best place to begin. The keys are laid out in a way that makes it easy to learn and grasp music theory concepts, it’s easy for inexperienced players to produce a clear and crisp tone and it also encompasses melody, harmony and rhythm. Students who learn to play piano will develop skills and knowledge that is easily applicable to any other musical instrument.

Display of guitars

2. Make time in your schedule

If you’re considering starting music lessons in Toronto or online music lessons, it’s crucial that you will have time in your schedule to actually focus on your learning journey. First things first, you’ll need to carve out set time in your schedule to focus solely on music. This of course includes the time for your weekly music lessons, but it also means regular practice. Ideally, students should practice daily on their own, but at least four times per week is a good goal. Many people start out by practicing for at least half an hour per day working up from there as they get more comfortable behind their instrument. If you’re not able to make this time commitment, then it will become very difficult for you to learn and grow properly as a musician.

piano student

In your own space, it’s always ideal to create an area where you can practice your instrument. Many people choose to designate a room or certain space where they are free to practice and take their lessons (if they’re doing them virtually or in-home). This space should be free of any distractions to keep you comfortable and focused. Depending on your living situation, you may also have to be mindful of your family, roommates or neighbours.

3. Set your goals

It’s important to understand that learning how to play music is not something that is going to come easily or happen overnight. You need to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself to avoid any potential disappointment. Learning how to play takes time, dedication, and passion. Without those three qualities, it’s very hard to succeed in music lessons in Toronto or online music lessons.

It’s incredibly important to work with your music teacher to set realistic goals and timelines for you personally. While everyone is different and will reach milestones at varied times, your teacher will be able to help set realistic expectations so that you don’t feel defeated when you do not pick something up right away. At the end of the day, music lessons and learning how to play should be challenging! It’s all about how you embrace that challenge and work towards your end goal.

saxophone student

4. Find the right music school

In most cities, there are dozens of music schools that offer different types and methods of learning. Do they offer lessons for your preferred instrument? Are you looking for private or group classes? Would you rather learn online or in-person? If you prefer in-person, would you rather that the instructor comes to your home or would you rather travel to the studio? These are all things to consider before committing to taking music lessons in Toronto.

Do you want the opportunity for you or your child to perform? Many music schools will offer a recital or several recitals throughout the year. This gives students something to work towards and extra motivation to practice diligently. Furthermore, performing in front of an audience is a great way for students to build confidence, both as musicians and overall as people, and will leave students feeling proud of their accomplishment. At Greater Toronto Music School, we offer two recitals each year and provide students with

Toronto piano school's recital

photos and videos to commemorate their performance.

At Greater Toronto Music School, we can help you play over 25 different instruments and offer different methods of doing so. Currently, we offer in-home, in-studio and virtual classes to help fit your busy schedule or preferences. Our lessons can be molded for aspiring musicians of all ages and skill levels.

5. Get to know your instructor

After finding the right music school for you, it’s going to be important to really make a lasting connection and relationship with your instructor. Prior to your first lesson, the staff at your music school can help match you with the right instructor that aligns with your interests and goals. Finding the right instructor is so important because they will be with you every step of the way during your learning process. This makes the relationship and connection you build so crucial! Not only will the right instructor be able to teach you properly, but it will also make for more enjoyable lessons and will help keep you focused! After starting your music lessons and getting to know your instructor, you should feel comfortable enough with them to share your successes and any pain points you’re dealing with. From there, they’ll be able to mold their lessons to better fit how you’re feeling and gauge what is and isn’t working.

That said, if you don’t feel like you’re the right match with your instructor–that’s totally

Toronto saxophone player

fine! Many music schools (including Greater Toronto Music School) prioritize how you’re feeling about your lessons and the progress you’re making. If you’d like to try out a new instructor, just let the staff know and they would love to help you find a better fit for what you’re looking for.

If you’re interested in taking music lessons in Toronto or online music lessons for yourself or for your child, we’d love to speak with you here at Greater Toronto Music School! We are always keen to help new students of any age to help turn their passion for music into a lifelong skill!

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