Cold and Flu Season for Music Students

November 5th, 2013  / Author: Heidi Yost

As we approach cold and flu season, we’re hearing the usual advice and news about the flu vaccine and how to protect ourselves from illness. So it seems an appropriate time to remind everyone, students and teachers alike, to take excellent care of yourselves and your children. In the studio, we often share small spaces and keyboards, so it’s important to implement preventive measures to avoid catching, or passing on, cold and flu viruses.

  1. Wash your hands often – before and after eating, blowing your nose, using the restroom, handling food, etc.
  2. Always wash your hands before and after your lesson – especially if you are studying piano.
  3. Avoid touching your face, and if you must do so, wash your hands.
  4. Avoid touching doorknobs and sink faucet handles with your hands, use elbows or paper towels to avoid hand contact.
  5. Keep sanitizing wipes on hand to disinfect these surfaces.
  6. Drink plenty of water.
  7. Eat a good diet, full of fruits and veggies, and take your vitamins.
  8. Get regular exercise, even if it’s just a short walk each day.
  9. Get plenty of sleep.
  10. If it’s recommended by your doctor, get your flu shots.

With our busy lives, it may seem impossible to find time to do all of these things religiously, but getting sick is worse. So do your best! If you do get sick, stay home – from work, from school, and from your lesson. If you are at the very end of a cold, or feel like you might be coming down with something mild, you may be ok to continue your schedule, but you should take extra precaution not to spread the illness, and cut out anything extra that you don’t absolutely have to do. And rest, rest, rest. Downtime and sleep are invaluable in warding off and recovering from, illness.

Stay healthy and well!

Finding a Music Teacher – What to Look For

October 30th, 2013  / Author: Heidi Yost

One of the most important ingredients for music lesson success is the right teacher. This can be tricky, because students, parents, and teachers are individuals. It’s not always easy to find the right fit. Many parents/students begin by considering cost, availability, and location. While these are important, the choice to study with a teacher should not be based on these factors alone. For success, you  must find someone whose qualifications, experience, and personality are a fit for your (or your child’s) particular needs. Here are some basic guidelines to help you get started.

1. Look for qualified teachers. Qualified teachers have extensive training, and often degrees in music – they’ve been musicians for a long long time, almost always from childhood. They also have a background in performance – some have had long careers as performers, some not – but all good instructors have solid performance experience. And, of course, they have had at least several years of teaching experience. Becoming an effective teacher usually happens over time.

2. Look for teachers who qualify their students. A prospective teacher should ask YOU questions. They should want to get to know who you are, why you are seeking lessons, etc. so they can assess whether or not you are a fit for them. A good teacher knows what they do well, who they work with well, and is up front about it.

3. Talk with and interview more than one teacher. This will give you perspective and information, helping you make a better decision. Many teachers will offer interviews, consultations, or trial lessons at no charge. Some even require it! So be sure to ask for this. Getting to know someone in person is the best way to make a final decision about whether or not they are the right fit.

It may be a little extra leg work in the beginning, but finding the right music teacher is well worth it. Good luck!