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Lessons

Hometown Music offers instruction for every kind of musical interest, including band instruments, piano, guitar, violin, and voice. Lessons are available for all ages and ability levels, with students proceeding at their own pace. Our private studio practice rooms ensure a quality learning experience. All students receive personalized attention each week to help them get the most out of their lessons.

Lesson Policy

Throughout the year, we offer private lessons as well as Group classes for young children.  In the summer, we offer group classes in introductory band (brass and woodwinds) for new band students (6th grade and up) and guitar for children ages 10-14. Other specialty classes are offered from time to time - such as  Hometown Kid's Choir.

Private lessons are 30 minutes a week, at a cost of $80 per month (subject to change) for a total of 48 pro-rated lessons per year. Private lesson fees are due and payable during the first week of each month; a $2.00 late fee will be assessed for lesson payments made after the tenth of the month.  Other group classes vary; check current listings for dates, times, and costs. All group class fees are due and payable when the classes begin.

Private lessons may be made up if the student notifies Hometown Music in advance.

All lesson and group class prices are subject to change.

 Advantages of having Real teachers vs. books or videos alone

Why Real Teachers Are Better than Videos and Books Alone
 
By Susan Caraway
 
It is obvious that technology has changed in many ways through the years.  It has even changed the way we enjoy our music.  We changed from records to attracts, to cassette tapes, to CDs, to mp3s and digital downloads for the music we listen to.  It has also given us many ways to learn and teach music.  There are books, DVDs, and websites that give instructions.  Technology is great but even it has its limits.  When learning about music and new instruments we tend to want to just look it up on the web or get a book.  However, there is a case to be made where having a real live music instructor is the best way to learn.
 Helps develop social skills.
It is really easy these days to bury our noses in our TVs, computers, tablets, and phones and not even have to talk to the person next to us.  When children take lessons they have to interact with another human being and develop good social skills.  They will have to answer questions and ask questions which means they have to be clear in their explanations.
 
Can isolate the specific problems of each individual student.
Instructional videos and books can help students when they are practicing on their own but the instructors cannot see if a student is having problems they need help with.  Some students may be blowing on the instrument wrong or have their fingers in the wrong place and not even realize it.  Having the instructor in the same room helps because they will see the mistake and will take the time to stop and correct it before it becomes a problem. Some students may struggle with rhythm while others with fingerings or note names.  The instructor will then spend extra time on that specific area to make it stronger.
 
Can spot the deer in the headlights look.
Sometimes instructions can be confusing; and if the video or book only has one way of explaining the instructions it can become quite frustrating.  The student will either find it difficult to move forward or spend extra time trying to find another video or book with the answers they are looking for.  When the teacher is in the room with the student the teacher will know if the student understands.  They are able to spot the deer in the headlights look and determine a second way to explain what the student does not understand.  You get a new explanation instantaneously.
 
Encourages repetition.
Practice makes perfect and for a perfect practice you need to practice the same exercises over and over again.  Students (especially young ones) tend to want to spend the majority of their practice time playing only the exercises they find fun or easy.  If they do practice the harder or newer material they will only do so for a couple of minutes and usually do it in a rush so they can get it over with.   A teacher who listens and plays along with the student will defiantly know when a student has not practiced enough.  Teachers will isolate the exercises the student struggles with and work with them in the lesson over and over again.  Therefore, either the student will get better during the lesson or they will get tired of the teacher making them do this and learn to have their music properly prepared.
 
Can teach you alternate fingerings and skills.
Sometimes by learning on our own we do not realize that there could be different ways to play a note/chord or that there are little tricks we can use to make a piece of music easier for us.  Sometimes there are two different ways to finger a note but the student will only want to use the one because it is the one they can remember or they think it is the “easier” one.  Only knowing the one fingering limits students and can cause some very awkward hand movements. Awkward hand movement eats up time and when playing a faster piece of music you do not want to waste time. Students could also get a third note in between the two notes they are trying to play and nobody wants to hear an out of place note in their favorite piece of music.  Teachers will make their students use the proper fingerings and show them any extra little tricks that will help them.  Therefore, this will become second nature for the student.  The student will then know when to use which fingering and will be comfortable and confident in using it.
 
Can prepare you for solos, recitals, contests, and auditions.
For many middle school and high school students there are plenty of musical activities they can participate in.  Whether they are playing in a group or playing a solo, teachers can help a lot.  The teachers can play along with the student and help them know how their part should sound. Chances are that your private teacher has done many solos, recitals, contest, and auditions themselves and have great experiences in knowing what to do and what not to do. This also leads us to number 7 on the list.
 
We have been in the students shoes before.
Teachers were students once too.  Teachers themselves have gone through the solos, recitals, contests, and auditions.  They know what it is like and can explain how they work, what the student should be worried about and what they shouldn’t be worried about.  For older students who would like to study music in college the teachers will have great advice since they have either gone through college auditions before themselves or have already helped other students prepare for them before.  Also, since teachers have been practicing for most of their lives they know what it feels like to struggle in their practices.  They understand how frustrating it can be but also know what must be done to reach the goal of becoming a good musician.  Teachers know when to give tough love and when to encourage students.  It is hard to have that kind of relationship with a video or book since the student can just turn it off or close it when they want to give up.
 
We are fun people; we can rock out with you!
While accompaniment CDs are great it is always more fun to play with another person.  Unless they are part of a band students do not usually take their instrument to a friend’s house to just jam.  Playing along with an experienced instrumentalist raises the bar and encourages students to want to get better.
 
Teachers make great contacts and references for future endeavors.
For college and getting a job it is important to have contacts.  Teachers can write letters for colleges and be put down for references.  Also, teachers have other contacts themselves and keep their current and former students in mind.  When they hear there is a position in a band or group available they could pass the word to the students.  Many band directors hire former, accomplished students as staff to help them with their marching bands.

 

Side note:  When students take private lessons it does not just improve the student but it improves the bands in our school systems.  Some schools cannot afford more than one band director or extra help for the band.  As great as our band directors and music teachers in the schools are it is near impossible for them to know everything about every instrument.  By taking private lessons students can get that extra help and individualized attention from someone who knows a great deal about their instrument or section.  Help keep music in the schools.