The Common Thread Between our Top Students

Over the years we've been lucky enough to see some top-flight students come through CMA. Several of them started with us when they were really young and continued until they left for college. Others came to us as transfer students after lessons with other teachers. These students all have unique playing styles and musical experiences. However, they all have one common thread that connects them and made them the players they became.

They all listened to music constantly.

They weren't so much motivated by our teaching as much as they were by the recordings they were listening to. They found their inspiration in sound and recorded music; not in instruction, a method, repertoire or sheet music. The instruction and everything else we do at CMA is simply to find the most efficient way to what students are hearing and listening to.

Motivation is a very big factor in learning to play music. Work ethic, performance techniques and eagerness to study music stem from motivation. Music we love is the ultimate motivator when it comes to inspiring us at our instrument - no matter our level or age. Even if we can't play pieces we are listening to on repeat quite yet, we can absorb a lot that translates into whatever we're playing.

We take a little different approach than most places when it comes to music lessons and practicing. Instead of focusing on just the practicing, we focus on what families and students are doing to inspire their practice. If our practice and lessons are the only musical thing we take part in each day, the lessons will probably not be that successful.

On the other hand, constantly listening to music we love will help motivate us to play our instruments more often and with more enthusiasm. This may not happen during the first few months or years of lessons, but it will happen if our passion for listening grows as we progress in lessons.

If you're trying to find out how to create an environment for your kids or yourself when it comes to taking lessons, simply start by making sure that music is always around them (or you). The more we hear music that we love; the more our practice time, motivation and joy will grow.