As a teacher since 2002, I know first- hand what the worst factors are when you come to teach a student in September who has had the whole summer off. Here are my top 4 reasons as to why you SHOULDN’T have a summer break.
I see kids who have had breaks from learning music get really down on themselves because for a few months after the summer break, their once strong music skills are have dropped several levels. Nothing makes a person feel less confident than when they were great at something and then they aren’t…and working to get it back to where it was is usually a really frustrating journey.
Long lasting effectiveness is affected
Making music a constant in your child’s life means that they will probably turn to practice more on their own accord as they know that lessons are coming soon .If a student has a big break from learning then music becomes a small hobby rather than a potential life –long passion and a struggle for the parent to get them to practice as they just think ‘ ah, I will just wait for summer and then they will stop pestering me!’
Usually students fall back 3 weeks for every 1 week off. So when teaching students who have had two months off, we take a huge step back into what we were learning and I often find we have up to 5 lessons going over what has been covered, but since, forgotten. For those parents who don’t have extra cash to splash, I would advise even a few lessons in the summer so your money isn’t wasted on tuition you have already paid for!
Learned bad habits
When students have a long time away they don’t have supervision of a tutor to remove bad habits. Once the tutor isn’t there and they are practicing on their own, they let bad habits creep in and they stay in and they become learned behaviour. . This takes FOREVER to undo and is usually a very frustrating process whereby the students loses interest in the subject, NOT because they are ready to finish learning the instrument, but because they are frustrated at themselves or find un-learning the bad habit too hard.