How to get the most out of 1-1 music lessons, part 1: beginners / young children

By Christopher Britt (Piano and Guitar tutor)

You have found a great new music tutor for your child. Great. Next stop Glastonbury? Perhaps one day… after a bit of work! Here are some helpful tips to help your child get the most out of their music lessons.

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Practising regularly

Progressing on any instrument requires regular practise. Usually your tutor will set the student a piece or section of music to practise for the next lesson. Beginner students should aim to practise for 10 minutes at least 4 or 5 times a week.


Keeping a practise diary will help you and your tutor keep track of your child’s progress. This is particularly important if your child is having their music lesson in a school, and you are not present for the tutor to give feedback after each lesson.

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Make it fun

Learning music should be fun and exciting. Working on one single book or syllabus might become boring. Try working on different books at the same time, perhaps one classical and one pop book. Perhaps your child has a song from a favourite film they would like to learn, or the latest Ed Sheeran or Ariana Grande song. Be proactive and seek out different music to listen to and get excited about. Make a Spotify playlist with your child and ask your tutor if they can transcribe a song from it for your child to work on in lessons.

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Creativity is key

As well as working on books such as PianoTime, always encourage your child to be creative and come up with their own music. If you have a keyboard, experiment with different sounds. My students love to create melodies over different chord progressions. I write them out using an app called ‘Notate Me Now’ which you can use to create printed scores.


Again, alongside other work set by the tutor, have fun jamming to different music. On piano, using the white notes only, try jamming along to tracks such as Let It Be (Beatles), All The Small Things (Blink 182), or Stay With Me (Sam Smith), for example. These songs are in the key of C (all the white notes). Ask your tutor for ideas. Jamming along with tracks is great fun. They will learn from it and build their musical vocabulary.  Learning a new scale? Ask your tutor to record or source a backing track on YouTube that your child can play along to.

I hope some of these ideas are useful. If you have any questions about how you or your child can get the most out of music lessons or starting music tuition in general, please do get in touch with us.