We take the puppy to puppy class and then come home to eat lunch and decompress. Then, Scarlet and I drive to our nearest Guitar Center location in West Springfield and walk hand-in-hand from the parking lot into the studio in the back. We are always welcomed no less than five times by the amazing staff, and I’ve gotten used to the feeling of walking through those doors. Instantly you get a blast of cold air and the sounds of many instruments being played at once. There are jam nights occasionally, but it’s always hopping even on normal weekdays and weekends. The place is alive with music!
I’m not sure which one of us was more nervous before the lessons. Scarlet likes to do things on her own terms and her own timeline, but she agreed to try at least one lesson. We met her teacher, Tyler, and she was so meek that first day. And of course, who wouldn’t be? She had never had to sing for anyone and had even missed chances, like school talent shows and piano recitals, and here she was in front of a talented and experienced instructor. I was impressed off the bat with his patience. That first day I had shaky hands and a fast beating heart but I’ll never forget what she said to me walking out.
And we did. Somewhere along the line, she amended that again. We were talking about not being too over-scheduled for the summer and into the new school year in September. And we were talking about narrowing activities and experiences down to what was most important. Scarlet said she wanted to do running (training for a 5K with school), piano lessons, vocal lessons, and one after school class. And then she wants time with her friends and with me. I was so impressed that vocal lessons made that list after only a few times. I know it’s making an impact and I can see the changes. More every day.
For awhile I was wondering, “Where are good vocal lessons near me?” And then I found out about this opportunity to go to Guitar Center. Guitar Center has over 200 locations nationally, as well as brand-new facilities. You can find lessons, retail, instrument repairs, and supplemental learning materials. And they have an achievement program to help students monitor their progress with a 6 tiered program. Students can learn in their own time. With music education being an important cornerstone to academic, social and cultural success, I feel comfortable going to one of the largest independent music educators in our country. Scarlet already had a love for music, and it’s growing. She’s learning a new language here.
For one, she trusts her teacher. He’s clearly talented and writes down notes every week for her to work on and expand her knowledge at home. She’s able to practice with the piano here. Scarlet is a steady learner. She has a natural aptitude for many activities, so we’re often on her to practice and study to continue to grow. I’ve found her practicing singing even without prompting. I love that she’s developing a natural and genuine love for music. She isn’t pushing herself or being pushed. Quite simply, she has always loved to sing, and now she’s finding out how to do so while protecting her young voice.
One of the first conversations we had at her lessons was about taking care of her voice and letting the music come from where it needs to come from – without straining or pain. As a mom, that was a key lesson that continues to be made pertinent. And for Scarlet, that continues to build trust with the instructor and the program as a whole. I love to hear her singing through the house, and I love when we play music in the house and she notices subtleties in the songs that an untrained ear would never notice. She has a growing enthusiasm for listening to music she already loves, and new music.
One of the benefits of music education is a sense of confidence and self-esteem. I think vocal lessons build upon those foundations like nothing else. When Scarlet started her lessons, I’m not sure I really heard one note come out of her mouth. Now after several lessons, I can hear the changes during lessons, and also at home when she’s singing show tunes that she already loves. I can honestly see her growing with this and maybe we’ll see her singing on stage on the sooner side.
Also, we love the location. Her favorite clothing store is only a few doors down, and my favorite coffee shop is next door so we have little routines and rituals. I have the choice to sit in with her or not, but I can also sit in the waiting room and watch her on camera. I always feel safe, and like she’s in good hands. This experience is memorable, and we’re going to keep on keeping on with our Saturdays!
See how exciting it’s been for us? Now, let’s get you connected! Find out more about what Guitar Center has to offer here. And follow them on Instagram and Facebook. Ready to start? Find a Guitar Center near you with this link!