The creative mind can be hard to pin down. With the endless daydreaming and limitless sense of possibility, there’s no telling how connected a student’s abilities are to their ideas. As a parent watching your child gain increased skill on his or her instrument, it is natural to want to support this growth. The problem lies in the labyrinth of tools available between the Internet and the closest music store. How do you know when it’s time for a new instrument or new accessories for the instrument a student already has? This is a tricky question.
At this moment, SoundLife Music Academy is going through a transition. We have, at different times, been forced to purchase, learn, or invest time in various endeavors as a result of our growth. This is a natural process. In the last few months, it became increasingly clear that we have outgrown our current operating system and that it is time for an update. If we do not update, then our growth will exceed our means to succeed. This impedes our progress and could set us back if we are not careful. In our situation, the solution is purchasing and learning how to use a new instrument...in this case, software. We need something that will leave space to grow. I want to emphasize that phrase: space to grow. Our next step cannot just bring us up to speed. It has to be something we can grow into.
When I was a young student, I started on a rental acoustic guitar. Now guitars are so inexpensive that purchasing a quality beginner guitar is very affordable and should not cost more than $100. The same goes with a beginner keyboard, bass, microphone, or practice pad. We at SoundLife offer recommendations for all of these that are cost effective, but will still leave space for students to grow. Some of our students are fortunate enough to start on professional level instruments. This leaves an enormous amount of room to grow on the instrument, but with all instruments, there are also many tools or accessories to consider as well.
After one year, my parents bought me my first electric guitar. I still have it hanging on my wall to this day. It wasn’t much, but I loved it. The next step was to play until my fingers bled. The instrument, with the amplifier, strap, and tuner, likely cost around $200. With this, I had room to grow, but I wasn’t playing on a pro-level guitar by any stretch of the imagination.
As I grew older, my instruments grew with me. Eventually I bought professional equipment, which has travelled all over the world with me, but even now I still have to upgrade certain things every so often. The next phase of growth always comes by demand. To parents of music students, I suggest periodically asking your instructor where they feel the student is at and what might help. It can also be very fun to do research online about the instrument your child is studying. If your child is a guitar student, you will find an endless world of tools including amplifiers, pedals, picks, straps, cables, and more. The same goes for any other instrument. If you can spare a small amount of time learning a bit before your child does, then this can be something to share together. In between new instruments, something as small as a guitar strap or some new strings can go a long way in keeping students in line with the work they’re putting in. We are here to help advise on our student’s progress and recommend the proper tools at the proper time. This journey is something we are in together.