After 54 years of giving music lessons, Virginia Kernes, Blue Springs piano teacher, knows a thing (or four)
Virginia Kernes earned her degree in piano pedagogy (the study of the teaching piano playing) from University of Missouri—Kansas City. She began teaching piano lessons in 1968. Today, she gives music lessons to 60 students, give or take, every week at Meyer Music’s Blue Springs location. When it comes to signing up students for music lessons this summer, Virginia knows not only will they have a great summer, but also gain skills and traits they’ll carry with them their entire lives.
If you’re on the fence about enrolling in music lessons, take it from Virginia… they’re the perfect activity that can lead to much, much more.
1. Taking music lessons give students the opportunity to participate in music festivals and recitals outside of the band or orchestra classroom, building confidence.
When students take music lessons, they gain the chance to show off their musicianship in front of judges who provide scores and feedback. For Virginia’s students, the three major festivals are:
National Federation of Music Teachers Guild
This judged event is held in April and scored.
This is a judged festival where students perform their music by memory and are also scored on their scales and chords.
Mid-American Music Association
This festival alternates location between Kansas City and St. Louis, and students from several states attend. This is the single, biggest event, and students can perform solo or as a duet.
Music recitals, usually held three times throughout the year, give students the chance to show off their talent and progression for their family and friends.
Whether performing in music festivals or recitals, students enjoy the opportunity to perform on their own merit, which complements their playing in the band or orchestra classroom group setting. Virginia says, “Students can be nervous at first about performing in a festival or recital. However, they quickly gain confidence, improving their self-image. For example, one of my music students was so nervous that he was hiding. With the confidence he gained from performances, he auditioned for the school talent show and is excited to perform.”
2. Studying music connects dots in subjects, such as math, history, reading and listening.
“Music lessons cover more than just music. What students across all grade levels learn during their lessons reinforces what they learn in school,” explains Virginia.
Math skills required to play music include note values and how they relate to counts, plus students add and divide to count measures in time signatures. Music composers and music history are studied, which correlates to historical events and time periods. For younger students, learning the notes (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) helps with identifying letters in reading. Over time, all students’ listening skills improve as they must listen to what they are playing to start making music beyond practicing notes and chords. Careful listening shapes phrases and what effect each one has on musicality overall.
3. Learning piano first makes the transition to other instruments easier.
Virginia says, “Learning piano early is a good basis for learning to play other instruments. By the time they start band or orchestra in school, students, especially younger ones, are ahead of others who are just learning music for the first time. This leg up instills confidence needed for leadership in a class setting.”
For high school students, taking (or continuing with) music lessons reflects their love and dedication to music. Older students have more activities and classwork competing for their time and energy, leaving them with less time to practice their instruments. “At this age, students choose carefully what matters most to them and on what they want to focus,” says Virginia. “Music lessons for high school students carve out time for them to practice for district and state-level contests, as well as help prepare them for higher education music degrees. Even if students don’t study music in college, many who play through high school continue playing into adulthood as a release to daily life.”
4. Summer is a great time to start music lessons.
Summer’s a perfect time to jump into music lessons with both feet because kids can’t be at the pool all day every day. Virginia says, “In summer, students are overloaded with other activities and homework. They have the time to focus on their practicing and just have fun. By the time school starts in the fall, they know what to expect and can easily work lessons into their week.”
Interested in enrolling your student in music lessons this summer?
Virginia and other highly qualified, vetted teachers give music lessons at Meyer Music. And, there is also the perfect match for your student at one of our other two locations in Overland Park and Kansas City North.
Learn more about our professionals and get more information about music lessons.