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Whether you are a teenager looking to further your musical knowledge or a parent who just wants to get her young child interested in playing an instrument, you’re going to have a lot of questions. Many of these problems arise from the basic question of “What is the best way to learn?” Between music camps, private instructors, special programs, and how-to tutorials, it can be hard to know what is necessary for becoming a great musician. While most students learn from a private instructor for at least a season, not all look to music camps for the advantages they offer. Let’s look at some of the differences and similarities these two forms of learning provide.
Different Learning Methods and Environments
If you’ve spent any time in the teaching profession, either as a volunteer or in a vocation, you know that there are many ways to teach. Think back on your own years at school and contrast the different methods used to teach you. Some instructors prefer to lecture while others encourage discussion. Some use standardized tests and others focus on group work. This is because we have discovered over the years that not everyone learns in the exact same way.
Let’s say you’ve been going to the same private instructor for music lessons the last 18 months. Assuming he is a good instructor, you’ve learned the basics and (hopefully) you’re well on your way to making music of your own. But you might learn something different from a classroom full of other students. You might see students with different skills and problem-solving methods that could help you learn more than you'd get out of a simple one-on-one session. Music camps can offer you some of that same personal attention, but you are going to be forced into new environments where you can learn in a variety of new ways.
Music Camps Bring Fun Into the Learning Process
Do you ever look at your instrument and think you’d rather work on just about anything else? It’s normal to get burnt out from time to time. Even if you’ve been going to a great music teacher who challenges you, monotony can catch up with us all. Nothing against private instructors, but the same old lessons need to be spiced up every now and then. When you go to a music camp, especially one that focuses on the music that you love, it’s like getting the invite to the year’s biggest party. Some programs may be more strict than others, but the excitement builds when eager minds get together to learn from experienced individuals who love what they do.
Music camps can be aimed for everyone from grade school to college, which means that each one is geared toward a different kind of student. Some can be very traditional, while others focus more on a fun educational experience. These camps break up the old, boring routine of learning and create a new space for expanding a student’s musical knowledge.
Not Every Instructor is the Same
As we said before, there are different ways to teach young minds, regardless of subject matter. One student might learn best with his hands, while another needs to watch someone else walk through the process. Teaching methods aren’t the only thing that can change from instructor to instructor, though. Like all students, teachers have been influenced by the instructors who taught them as well as the people within the arts who have influenced them.
Just within the world of guitar, musicians can specialize in rock and roll, blues, country, classical, and more. If you’ve been learning from a private instructor who has only ever played classical music, you may be missing out on some knowledge related to blues guitar. We’re not saying that there is any problem with your current private instructor, but music camps allow for a student to learn from a variety of teachers. This allows for a rounded learning experience with which a weekly lesson may not be able to compete. On the other hand, learning from a consistent instructor is also great. That’s why music camps and regular lessons are all part of a full education.
Music Camps Allow Kids to Meet Peers
Imagine if music were something that could only be enjoyed in isolation. You’d lock yourself away working for hours and hours trying to master a certain song or movement. On the surface that’s a great way to focus on a task short-term, but eventually you would want to share your skills and love for music with other people.
Lessons with a private instructor aren’t exactly the same as being locked away in a tower, but for most people it does mean that you spend most of your time either practicing alone or with that one teacher. Music camps are great because they allow for students of different skill levels and focuses to come together and bond over the pursuit of musical excellence. If you live in a rural area or you just happen to be the only musically inclined person in your group of family and friends, getting to meet other students your age with a similar passion is a huge benefit.
Learning is an Ongoing Process
Lastly we want to talk about why both of these forms of music education are important. Although many teens want to learn how to play an instrument on their own, private instruction is a largely beneficial way to get better. Doing your own thing sounds cool, but having someone who knows what they are doing guiding you along can help you steer clear of bad practices and pick up better ones.
Music camps, on the other hand, are the education equivalent of a mini-semester or spring break program that allow you to break out of the typical classroom setting and learn exciting new methods from interesting teachers. If we pair the consistency of a private tutor with the fun life experience and workshopping that music camps provide, we can find a healthy, rounded curriculum that will take us as far as we allow it.
We don’t believe too many education opportunities is ever a bad thing. Music camps and private instructors are both important ways to learn more about your instrument as well as music in general. At Camp Electric, we aim to give Christian musicians the ability to learn from instructors who tour around the country and create best-selling albums. With special workshops and a fun classroom atmosphere, Camp Electric is a great way to work on improving one’s craft. Find out how you and/or a family member can become our next student by clicking on the link below.