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Music Education On a Budget: Affordable Learning For Kids


There’s no denying the fact that music lessons are beneficial for children. Kids gain a sense of self-confidence from music, they learn to socialize better, their reading comprehension will improve, and most importantly, they will get to participate in one of our greatest art forms for the rest of their lives.

That said, music lessons are not cheap (at least not the good ones). Qualified teachers have advanced degrees and years of experience to their credit, and you’ll pay a minimum of $120 per month for high quality private instruction for your child.

So what should you do if music simply isn’t in the budget? Can your child still gain an understanding of music that will lay a foundation for later in their lives? The answer is yes - keep reading to learn more.

Private Music Lessons, While Worth It, Aren’t Cheap

As mentioned above, you will have to pay a decent fee to get good lessons. The minimum price for a qualified teacher is usually $1 per minute, and most teachers with experience charge more.

“It’s a delicate balance between earning a decent living and thinking of our students,” said West Chester, PA piano teacher Florence Phillips. “A master’s degree in piano pedagogy requires six years of post secondary education, for instance. When considering the value of the instruction, the teacher’s possible student loan debt, and the cost of living, music lessons really should be valued more than they are. But we piano teachers almost never want to turn people away because of money - we want everyone to play the piano!”

Many families struggle to find time to travel to a lesson studio, so they opt for lessons in their home. But in-home lessons will require a travel fee, making the cost of education even higher.

The good news is that even if you are pinching pennies at the moment, you can instill your child with musical knowledge.

Online Resources Can Save Money

So you can’t afford lessons with a teacher, and in-home music lessons are out of the question - where do you turn?

Start by trying out a number of apps, like Simply Piano. Simply Piano has a few free lessons, and if you want to upgrade to the full course, it will cost about $100 per year. That sounds expensive for an app, but it’s actually worth it! Simply piano teaches you how to read notes, how to find them on the keys of a piano, how to read chords and rhythms, and much more. You probably won’t be able to hand your child a smartphone and expect them to learn much about theory on their own, but you can use this app and work with your child at the piano.

The same goes for YouTube videos. Young kids love YouTube, and they also love activities with their parents - if you take a few minutes each day to do a simple, free lesson online with your child, they will learn the piano over time.

A quick Google search for “free beginner piano worksheets” will also yield a number of results. You can print them off and work through them with your child. This is far superior to no musical training at all, it just requires some parental supervision.

Toys & Learning Aids At Home

It’s never been easier to find music-inspired toys at an affordable cost. You can spend $50 on a fun 88 key roll up keyboard for kids, or you can purchase a safe and educational piano mat for babies for even less. These toys have the keys of the piano, fun instrument voices, rhythms, and more bundled up in a fun toy, and if you combine these items with some worksheets or online resources mentioned above, you’ll have a full-blown music school happening in your home.

You can also encourage music-making in your home with toy drums, recorders, ukuleles and more.

Parental Involvement

None of the resources mentioned in this blog will do any good if you don’t get involved. Young kids will want to learn music if they see their parents doing it, but if you just hand your child a keyboard and a worksheet, they’ll never get much out of it.

If you do not have the budget to invest in a qualified piano teacher, you will need to start learning music yourself, then work with your child. It’s a great way to spend time together, make memories, learn a new skill yourself, and give your child the gift of music.

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