The Write Notes – March 2020

Dear <<First Name>>,

Let me start with a lot of gratitude.  We are having some seriously challenging times at home and globally.  There is just a ton of concern and unanswered questions about how and how long it will take to get back to our routines.  I’m grateful to our city leaders and to our friends and neighbors for taking the unsettling but necessary precautions to make this better for everyone.

In less than a week, educational institutions made a huge shift to online learning.  I am truly amazed that these massive changes happened so quickly and with such low friction.  Is it perfect?  No.  But it’s a great example of our ability to pull together and simply get things done when the time is NOW.

SJAA students, teachers and families are no exception.  Over 98% of our students made the switch immediately and adapted very quickly to a new way of lesson delivery.  Change is never easy and we still have some challenges to face.  That’s how we learn and grow.

Extremely proud of the way everyone is stepping up to demonstrate that willingness, that commitment to continued learning and growth.

Practicing, learning and playing music are more essential now than ever.

Grateful we have each other and can share this journey together.  It will be transformative, a reminder of what’s most important and an opportunity to demonstrate the best in ourselves.

Stay happy and healthy.  We’ll see you (virtually) in the weeks ahead and looking forward to having everyone together back at the Academy soonest.

Thank you, <<First Name>>!

jason and SJAA

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to message me directly at…
816 294 4856 (cell)

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SJAA Updates –
Shelter in Place – Remains in effect for our city through this week.  All lessons and classes will be online only for at least a few more weeks.  St Joseph Public Schools are out until April 24 so it may be that the SJAA will follow suit.  No official decision but maybe presume that will be the case though April and we’ll roll with the punches and changes as they come in.

Evaluative Adjudication – Sadly, our students have lost every opportunity to demonstrate their best work.  Local and state music contests, recitals, spring concerts and most recently the SJAMTA evaluative audition, ALL CANCELLED.
The SJAA can fill this gap with an SJAA evaluative audition online.  Like a college jury, students would submit 2 videos of 2 pieces in differing styles and 1 video of the scales (maybe chords cadences too) required by the key of the pieces.  No sight-reading or paper test.

Participating students will receive an evaluative critique of their performance, certificate of completion and judges will select a best performance from each for an online broadcast of an online recital.  May 1 deadline for submissions and a May 16 recital “Music Moves Us” broadcast date.

SJAMTA evaluative usually costs $15 to members.  SJAA evaluative will be FREE to members.  Not Mandatory but maybe the only opportunity students will have to demonstrate their continued hard work this spring.

Application Form or send a note to to sign up.

Songwriting Contest – Working on this with more details to come.  Similar to above but original songs or instrumental compositions submitted by video.  TBA

New classes/clinics – Coming soon for summer.  Registrations and info TBA.

Welcome to our Newest Students!

Braeden, Mary, Jackson, Larkin, Maeby, Brooke, Taylor, Cory, Myles, Sabre, Charlie, Elizabeth and Coen!


Music Honors! – Guitarist, Basil Riches of Atchison, KS received a “1” rating for his rendition of “O Son De Ar” at the 4-H Atchison County, KS Club Day contest.  Way to go, Basil!

Drums! – Our new Drum studio opened this month with Will Doyle (master percussion/recording).  Limited spaces available for drum lessons.

New Teachers– Welcome to our newest team member, Mary Jo Lewis (master piano)!

40th Anniversary Monster Concert – The SJAA piano and guitar students joined SJAMTA for the 40th Annual Monster concert last month.  The sold-out show provides money for scholarships to middle, high school and college students for summer music camps, festivals and continuing course work.

Group Classes – With the expansion in our building we got some great new classroom spaces.  We started with some beginner’s guitar classes (child or adult) and early childhood (age appropriate classes from 8ms to 5 yrs) this month.  If you have friends or family that might be looking for musical experienceslike this, we greatly appreciate you sharing us with them.  Many more fun classes in the works!  Let us know if there is a class you’d like to see offered here. for more information.

Limited spaces available.

More to come!

SJAA Expansion Finally Complete! – We’ll look forward to having you here soon!!  Total of 5 new studios, additional pianos, 1 Large classrooms space, 2 waiting areas, reception area and kitchenette, bathroom, fresh paint, new flooring, LED lighting and additional hallways (AND we hung a piano on the wall!).

First Recital in our New Space – So honored to have Mr. Brock’s violin studio present our first ever student recital IN OUR VERY OWN BUILDING!  It has been a major work in progress to get our doors open and just really fun to have everyone there.  Thanks to Mrs. Foster, Mrs. Riley and Isaac Johnson for accompanying and congratulations to the performers and to Mr. Brock on their dedicated work.


Student of the Month

Our March “Student of the Month” is…

Myles Grimsinger!!!

We are so lucky to have Myles and his family with us at the SJAA.

Besides being SJAA’s premier drum student with Will, Myles is part of his middle school band as a percussionist.  The guy loves baseball and we are all hoping the season with his team “Smash” can hit the field together soon.    Myles is also part of a Dungeons and Dragon club with friends after school.

He just recently upgraded to a new drum kit and is excelling with it.

We’ll celebrate Myles with an iTunes gift card for him!

Thank you, Myles for referring your friends and family to the Academy.


To be considered for Student of the Month, be sure to talk to your teacher about all your musical and extracurricular activities, share pictures and refer your fellow musicians to the academy.

The New “Social Distancing Elbow Bump” Emoji!!
SJAA’s Upcoming Recitals 


2/8 –  Monster Concert  (piano rehearsals Jan 31, Feb 7)
2/29 – Teacher Appreciation Day
3/8 – 2pm SJAMTA student recital (CANCELLED)
4/18 – Academy @ the Mansion, 2020.  (TBD)
4/25 – SJAMTA Evaluatives (CANCELLED)
4/26 –  2pm SJAMTA student recital (CANCELLED)
3:30 SJAMTA Honors Recital at First Presbyterian (CANCELLED)
5/1 – SJAA Evaluative Audition Submission Deadline
5/16 – SJAA “Music Moves Us” Online Recital, TBA
5/XX – SJAA Ribbon Cutting, Open House (TBD)

5/21 – Recital at Living Community, 7pm (TBD)
6/13 – Hawkfest, 130pm
7/15 – Silver and Gold Banquet, Word of Life Church, 1245pm

10/11 – Photo Day @ SJAA, times/venue TBA

SJAA Specific Events in BOLD

Books!Is your student ready for new books? We carry a very limited supply of instructor approved titles. Talk with your teacher about your next books and we’ll get them ordered.

Thanks to all for registering for convenient auto-drafting from credit cards or your bank account.  So glad to be able to offer this for our families.

Lesson Policy
– Is here and copies are at the studio…

Thank you for reading -“The Write Notes” –  
Monthly Newsletter from the St. Joseph Arts Academy!
We made some memories this month, didn’t we?

Thank you for encouraging the advancing musicians in your life and in our community.

We are making the world a better place through music.

Here’s to YOUR music success!

Jason Riley
8162944856 (personal cell)
Here to help! Call or text if you need anything at all.

{| o }===:::
Referral Program – We have a great family of students and teachers at the SJAA.  We are extremely discerning in selecting the very best coaches and students when growing our family.  We want great students just like you.  The SJAA is now able to offer a FREE lesson for referring new students who register for lessons.  Thank you for referring your friends and family to be a part of our SJAA family.

Does Your Teacher Have Openings?

Jolie – Full
Terry – Full
Frank – Mondays, 330 & 5
JC – Mondays 630
Andrew – Tuesdays 2:45 & 4
Emily – Mondays 430,  Saturday 1030
Monica – Mondays 430, Wednesday 6
Brent – Tuesday 530, 6, Thursday 3, 5 

Jason – Monday 4pm
Mary Jo – Tuesday, 430 & 530
Will –  mondays 4 & 430
Sarah – Saturdays

 SJAA Classes/Courses – Guitar, Piano, Violin, Cello, Voice, Uke, Drums, Early Childhood, Group Guitar

TeacherZone is our on-line platform for our students and our teachers.

Free Wi-Fi – SJAA password “MusicAccomplished”

Academy Mission

Our mission at the St. Joseph Arts Academy is to provide the highest quality musical instruction and performance opportunities to beginning and advancing students in the Midland empire. We use our patience, enthusiasm and loyalty to encourage, inform and inspire others to happily share their skill and talent in love and gratitude to make the world a better place.


Music Accomplished!

Copyright © 2020 St. Joseph Arts Academy, All rights reserved.

Great Gift Ideas for Music Students

Holiday Gifts for the Musician in your life.

Thank you for sharing the gift of music and for shopping “LOCAL” this holiday season.  We’ll include some other links at the bottom of this page to our preferred local music retailers if you are looking for something more specifically.

Email for more information, orders, purchases and registrations.

SJAA is participating in the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce “Shop St. Joe” program.   Grand prize drawing is for $10,000 in mid-December.  1 ticket for every $10 spent.


At the SJAA, our focus is on growing advancing musicians.

We specialize in private music lessons in Guitar, Piano/Keyboarding, Voice & Singing, Violin, Cello, Ukulele and now, Drums and percussion!  (Just $94 per Month for weekly 30 minute sessions with our expert instructors.)

We are also excited to offer Group Guitar and Early Childhood Classes in 2020.  (pricing below)

While we are not a retail music store, we are fortunate to provide the accessories and books our students need at a discount.  Members Only!


Holiday Gifts for the Musician in your life.

Gift Certificates
We offer them for private lessons ($94 per month) and for books and accessories ($25)

Diamond Head Concert Ukulele w/carrying bag
Just $69 (You Save 10.95)

Music Method & Repertoire Books
(10% off In-stock or special orders in time for Christmas)


Hamilton “Fold-Up” Music Stand
Just $16 (You Save 8.99)
Only 8 left.


Guitarist Footstool
Just $10 (You Save 4.99)
Only 4 left.

Snark Clip-On Tuners
Just $10 (29.99 on Amazon!!!)
Only 6 left.

D’Addario 20′ Instrument Cable
Just $16 (You Save 4.68)
Only 2 left

Premium “Guitar”Care System
Just $20 (You Save 9.99)
Only 1 left

Pack of Guitar Picks
Just $3 (You Save 1)
Only 1 left

Mini Hohner Harmonica
Just $3 (You Save 1)
Only 3 left

Alvarez Access Pack (Guitar Tuner, Capo, Cloth)
Just $15 (List Price $40!!)
Only 2 left

Guitar Strings (acoustic or electric)
Just $10 ($20 installed)

Hohner “Chicago Blues”Harmonicas
Just $10 (45.04 at Kohl’s!!!)
Only 2 left

Yamaha Recorders
Just $6 (You Save 3.99)
Only 2 left

One-of-a-Kind Musical Tote Bags
Just $22
Only 6 left

“Music Accomplished” T-shirts
Just $20 adult & $15 children’s
In-stock or special order for size in time for Christmas
Black or Texas Orange

“Music Accomplished” Baseball Cap
Just $15
One size fits all in Black

“pBuzz” Kid’s Musical Instrument
Just $19 (You Save 10.99!)
Only 2 left


Group Guitar Class (beginners only, child or adult classes)

6 – 1 hour weekly “Intro to Guitar” group classes.  Includes FREE materials (guitar not included).
Beginning Mid-January, 2020.  Days and Times TBA.
Just $99!
Limited space available.Early Childhood Music Classes
The very best gift we can give our little ones in their most important, formative years!

Sing, Dance, Explore Instruments, Have Fun and Make Friends in these Weekly 50 minute sessions for “mini-mozart’s” and parents, grandparents or caregivers.
Age specific classes for 8 months-5 years.
Beginning Mid-January, 2020.  Days and Times TBA.
Just $195 per Quarter! (Sessions begin every 3 months)
Limited space available.

Group Guitar Class & Guitar Package (beginner’s only, child or adult classes)
6 – 1 hour weekly “Intro to Guitar” group classes.  GUITAR INCLUDED!  (choose acoustic or electric package)  Includes FREE materials.
Limited class spaces available.
Beginning Mid-January, 2020.  Days and Times TBA.
Just $247 (student acoustic guitar package) or $297 (student electric guitar package)!

Acoustic Guitar Package (Concert Acoustic guitar w/carrying bag, picks and tuner)
Just $297!

Electric Guitar Package (Concert Electric guitar w/carrying bag, amplifier, cable, picks and tuner)
Just $397!

30 Day Guitar Challenge
The SJAA “30 Day Guitar Challenge” is a great way to kick of the new year with daily, positive and motivational messaging, instructions and short video lessons delivered to your inbox.
For players of all levels ready to make a commitment to up their guitar game.  This inspirational 30 day “Bootcamp” will cover topics from tricks, tools and techniques for playing and practicing to musical interpretation, history and mindsets for musical success.  A fantastic and fun supplement for any guitarist already taking lessons.  Start off on the right track in 2020.  Join us for the 30 Day Guitar Challenge beginning in January.

Just $30

To Register:
Challenge is limited to 40 guitarist.Registration ends December 24, 2020.

Heirloom Photos from Tyler Osborn Studios

Gifts for YOUR Family!

a: 9700 Walnut St., Kansas City MO 64114
c: (913) 226-6529
ig/fb: @tylerosbornstudios

CD Packages – Soca Jukebox, Under the Big Oak Tree, Jason Riley & Maria the Mexican
Mix and Match 3 CD’s for just $20!

Check out our past blog post for more info on great gift ideas for your guitarist.

Gifts for your Guitarist

Email for more information, orders, purchases and registrations.

We have some great recommendations if you are looking for keyboards, high-end instruments or other instrumental accessories.  Just ask.


Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!
St. Joseph Arts Academy


Preferred Local Music Retailers…

St. Joseph, MO (See our friend, Aaron)

Parkville, MO (See our friend, Mark)

Atchison, KS (See our friend, Scott)



Music Students

How to Practice

How to Practice

One definition of practice is… “a repeated exercise or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it” As in it must have taken a lot of PRACTICE to be such a good guitar player.

Doctors and lawyers are said to have a practice when carrying out the exercises and duties of their profession. I don’t really want my doctor to be PRACTICING on me as he’s cutting me open. I want him to PERFORM the perfect operation.

Practice can also be customary, habitual or expected procedures for something. This could be like a meditation practice or yoga.

As musicians, we really embody each of these definitions of practice in slightly different mindsets. The exercise needed to perform a technically challenging passage or even to get our muscle-memory together enough to play a basic chord and then chord progression. Music is also our field of study as in medicine or law, it IS our practice. Hopefully it is also a thing that we’ve made a part of our day to day programming that happens habitually. We don’t necessarily call it practice but I hope you’re planning to eat, sleep and brush your teeth today.

So what are things we should do to become a person of practice and what does it mean to practice well? What does effective practice look like? When are we done practicing?

It actually took me many years to discover and refine my techniques for effective practicing. I’ve tried a number of approaches that I may touch on here. My way doesn’t have to be your way. You should definitely explore what best practices are for yourself.

At its most basic, practice time set aside to do your best. There can be many things that can distract us from the task at hand or take our mind away from our most challenging work.

Perhaps you’ve had the experience of sitting down to practice a new piece and after a few minutes you’re noodling away on favorite licks, riffs or another piece entirely (usually all things you already play pretty well). You might even become so mesmerized in this that you actually lose track of time, not realizing that you’ve been just “playing” with your instrument for 20 minutes. Weren’t you supposed to be “practicing”? It’s ok to make some time just to noodle, jam or play for fun. Set your timer though and get back to work after that time is spent.

To be truly successful in your practicing you need to have a purpose or goal and be on a time schedule. We all have the feeling that we want to become “a better guitarist” but that is not what I mean by purpose. The purpose of your practice should be topical (learn a new scale fingering, accompaniment style or arrangement) and should be scheduled for a certain amount of time.

My personal practice usually involves a few topics. These are places in my playing where I’m trying to “grow”. I use many of these same areas and methods with all my students no matter the age or level of achievement. Topics include things like technique, scale and chord vocabulary, sight reading, pieces/songs/tunes, ear-training and memorization. There are many more I have included over the years again depending on what my purpose was at the time or where I felt I had some weaknesses. Theory, performance practices, history, improvisation and just time to listen to music are all things I’ve put time into. I want to grow in all these areas in deeper ways.

So let’s make some time to practice. Put it in your schedule. Write it on the calendar. A little time everyday. The famous japanese music mentor Shinichi Suzuki said you should only practice the “days you sleep and the days you eat”! I think that’s great advice. We all will miss a day now and again and that’s understood. You may want to set your weekly practice schedule up to include a “skip day”. That’s an important “practice” in some religious circles. Also, it can be a nice reward especially for younger students who really work hard all week.

The amount of time each day is not as important to me as just the “every day”. If you practice with a purpose everyday you will get better. A lot has been said in the past few years that it takes a FOCUSED 10,000 hours to become a master at anything. Free-throws, heart surgery, flower arranging, etc. You’ll be come the “master” faster by practicing 3 hours everyday as opposed to 10 minutes obviously. Mastery is the fruit of purposeful practice. No need to worry about the fruit. It will come at the right time and in the right season. Your practice is in taking care of the tree. Prune it and water it with the time you have today and schedule it again tomorrow. Do that and you’re doing the best you can.

10 hours a day for 3 years = Your the master!
3 hours a day for 10 years = Your the master!
1 hours a day for 30 years = Your the master!

I will say that in my experience it takes at least 20 minutes of practice just to kind of stay at the place you left off yesterday. If you don’t use it (and use it again) you’ll lose it.

I use the timer in my practice (and a tuner, a metronome, books and music, a music stand, and a pencil but the timer is VERY important). It keeps you on task. If you are playing a game like basketball, that game is timed. You have a certain amount of time to play with a purpose of making points for your team, defending against the opposing team and doing your very best. Then there’s a buzzer that signals the end of play, maybe the 1/2, the 1/4 or the end of the game. The point here is that you did your very best, you kept your head in the game and now it’s over.

My music practice is very much like that. I start the time and work on an alotted task for a certain amount of time. This is usually very short, between 2-20 minutes per task. This has two benefits. One, I know that I have to do my best for a very short time. Not hammering away for hours, just minutes. Two, if I do get distracted or get off task and do some mindless noodling, it reminds me to come back to the project and work until the buzzer goes off. With my students, I even give them pretend “points” for perfect repetition of the material. One perfectly played scale = 10 points or 100 or whatever. They may have only 3 minutes to make as many points as possible. It’s a little mind game but it works really well, gets them to do their best and make as many perfect reps as the time allows.

Again, there are number of important topics that go into building musical proficiency. You might just pick a few each day to devote your time to. When that buzzer goes off or time is up, move on to the next topic and start the timer again. Depending on the amount of time you’ve set aside for practice, you could do more or less. Remember, less in more in many instances.

As an example, If we had an hour to practice, I would start with a slow warm-up for maybe 10 minutes. We could move on to scales for 10, Chords for 10, sight reading for 10 and maybe one piece we’re working on for 10 minutes. It wouldn’t have to be the entire piece, lots of times its just a few measures or specific trouble areas. Then you could take a little break. Lots of performing musicians take set breaks too!

If that was all the time you had for the day, you could be done and go on with your life. If you had additional time (perhaps another hour) I would start with that routine again and repeat it. If you have less time maybe on a very busy day, you could get a 10 minute practice in on just two or three really important ideas at 3-5 minutes each. Hey, we can all find 10 minutes even on a busy day, right? The important thing is that you’re FOCUSED, you’re doing it on purpose and you’re proving to yourself that you’re disciplined, dedicated and committed to your advancing musicianship.

If you’re making a lot of mistakes while practicing, you are probably going too fast or trying to practice too much. This is a common problem and it does take a lot of discipline to slow down and work on very small or short musical problems.

Truly effective practice is practice with a purpose. That purpose is different for everyone and adjusted to the topic you’re working on. You might have a goal to play a C major scale in 1/8th notes at 160bpm. You might want to learn a new jazz standard every week. You may need work on that one measure that always messes you up in that Bach prelude. Your purpose is to fix, add or increase in your abilities as they apply to your goals in music.

Here’s a few other ideas about what practice is and what it can do for you.

Practice is…

Motivational – The more you do it, the more you want to.

How we learn – Things seep in over time through repetition. We learn by doing.

Transformative – Makes things better through attention and intention.

Reducing Imperfection – Unlearning bad habits or replacing them with good habits.

The way to Carnegie Hall – “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.”

Infectious – A little can lead to a lot.

Love – It demonstrates your affection for what you are practicing.

To Overcome – Limitations and small expectations.

Making Mastery – 10,000 hours (Give or Take).

Confidence building – When you’ve put in the time to know what you’re doing and you know it.

Non-judgmental? – Do it when you feel good or bad. When it’s time to fight, you have to do it no matter what mood you’re in.

Persistence – No matter what happens, slow down, re-focus and just keep plowing ahead.

What you become – Like the doctor or lawyer, you are what you practice most.

Life Enhancing – Just do it, you’ll be glad you did.

A Teacher – It encourages us on the path of discovery. It shows you what it is and what it might become.

Truth – It’s where you find out what’s real for you. Where you are on the path.

Application – Using what you know, at the right time, when you need it.

For Champions and Masters – They all did it. I promise.

Not Easy – It feels like work sometimes, ok it is actually work.

Acceptance – Forgive yourself for not being automatically perfect. You’re getting closer.

Purposeful – Practice with a purpose in mind. Practice because you’ve got to. it’s the only way.

Cultivating – The tree that your fruit comes from.

An Inner Game – The only competition is within. The only real competition is in the mirror.

Tomorrow’s Victory – “Tomorrow’s victory is today’s practice – Chris Bradford, The Way of the Warrior.

Development – The garden grows best when it’s weeded and tended to. True in all things like love, forgiveness, patience and giving.

Preparation – To being and doing what you want to be and do.

Practice is… THE WAY.

Practice Makes Perfect?
Practice Makes Permanent
Practice Makes Possible
Practice Makes Possibilities
Practice Makes Patience
Practice Makes Partnerships
Practice Makes Playing Possible
Practice Makes Pathways
Practice Makes Progress
Practice Makes Proficient
Practice Makes Professional
Practice Makes Proof
Practice Makes Practical
Practice Makes Precedence
Practice Makes Prepared
Practice Makes Purpose
Practice Makes Perception
Practice Makes Performers

Summary – Whatever you can imagine or aspire to do, you can do that in music (or anything almost) through focused practice over time. I aspired to play music. I’ve never really felt that I had any great or natural talent to do so. Everything that I’ve accomplished in music and on my instrument has just been through hard work, smart work, time and persistence. In short, practice.

While I may never be a ballet dancer or professional football player because of my physical build (not that I’m inspired to become one). Through practice and study, I could learn the techniques, I could get better, I would grow.

It’s truly amazing what human beings can accomplish given enough time.

Special Offer – If you found this article helpful, please consider subscribing, drop us a note or consider joining us on the path to mastery. The St. Joseph Arts Academy is a resource for all things musical. We are here to support and encourage you along your musical path.  Now…


How Can I Stick with Learning a New Instrument?

Hey, let’s face facts. Learning a musical instrument is fun and rewarding but it’s also kind of tough.

If it were easy, everyone would play an instrument.

Unfortunately, we know that it’s kind of a rare skill amongst the population at large.

Personally, I think everyone should learn to play something.  And they can!  The key is to understand that simple doesn’t always mean easy.  That anything worth doing requires effort, energy and attention.  To know that you might not always feel like practicing.  You might feel bored or frustrated sometimes.  But you know you are going to do it anyway.

There are certain things we all do.  We like to eat.  We like to sleep.

Hey, we are human and we do those things everyday because we need to.  Well, now we are talking about musicians.  Guess what they do everyday?

Musicians play music and practice it.  That’s just who we are and part of what we do.


The days we sleep and the days we eat.

For beginners, it is often tough to accept that it takes a lot of time and effort to become the accomplished  musician they dream of, but with the following tips, you’ll find it easy to stay dedicated in your music lessons.

Choose your instrument wisely.
When you’re first considering music lessons, follow your natural inclination toward a specific instrument.  Also, it is worth taking a wander around your local music shop.  Not only does this give you the chance to hold the instrument, but you can get demonstrations of every variety until you find something that’s right for you. If you don’t find yourself immediately attached to anything, you can always rent instruments – or try one that everyone has access to… with some singing lessons!

Learn music you like.
It’s all well and good to aspire to play the great classics that every professional has in their repertoire, but when starting off,  it is worth picking some pieces of music that mean something to you.  If you ask your teacher to help you tackle a piece you feel a connection with, you’re far more likely to want to carry on learning and attempting to play.

Learn with others.
Even though many of us opt for private music lessons with the hope of learning faster with more one-on-one time, it can actually be beneficial to learn with a friend or a family member.  This works especially well if you’re trying to encourage a child as young children love to be involved in what their parents are doing.  Group classes are a great way to get started and make some like-minded friends.  Especially important for the socialization of our littlest learners.

Music is NOT rudiments and scales?
Traditional music teachers will often begin by teaching scales, chords and other basics but these can get extremely tiresome after a few lessons.  Find a teacher that will start by teaching you based on YOUR musical goals and it might just keep you interested for when more structured rules and theories need to be learned.

Don’t be afraid to jam.
Even the most rehearsed and experienced musicians need some moments of letting go.  This is something you can easily achieve with a jamming session. Whether you’ve learned just one song or you have a whole repertoire, spontaneity not only encourages creativity, but it might open up your eyes to things you never knew you could play. Finally, jamming might reveal to you what you want to focus on in your lessons, which makes it easier to stay dedicated and work toward your goals.