To make music lessons successful, music teachers and music students need to truly understand each other.  They need to make sure their goals are in sync, and that a plan is in place to propel the student forward toward those goals.

As a student, you need to have goals for your lessons, and you need to discuss these goals with your teacher.  Once you’re taking music lessons, are you making sure you’re doing everything possible to get the most from those lessons?  If not, you are unlikely to meet your goals anytime soon.

Here are steps you can take to make sure you’re getting the most for your time and money with your music lessons:

1.  Have a lesson notebook.  Be sure you and/or your teacher are writing down notes at the lesson.  Without this written record, you are unlikely to remember what happened at the lesson.  I recommend my book, the Musician’s Practice Planner, for this.  It can be used for all instruments!

2.  Record your lessons.  With your teacher’s permission record audio or shoot video of your lessons.  When you review these recordings after your lesson you will be amazed at how much more there is to learn!  It’s like getting another lesson or two for free.

3.  Review.  Go through your notes from the lesson and/or your lesson recordings as soon as possible after the lesson.  You will retain more information if you review while the actual lesson is still fresh in your mind.

4.  Ask questions.  Keep a list of questions during the week between your lessons.  Write these in your Musician’s Practice Planner so you remember to ask your teacher these questions at your next lesson.

Doing these four steps will supercharge your lesson experience.  You will learn so much more than if you do not do these steps.  And, you will stand out in your teacher’s eyes as someone who is serious about playing music.  When your teacher has a favorable opinion of you, your lessons will simply be better than if your teacher doesn’t take you seriously.

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