My son has been musical since gestation. He kicked more when I was listening to music, his favorite place to be for the first few months was the Baby Bjorn while his dad or I were dancing, and he referred to Michael Jackson as “Uncle Jackson” until last year. So, when I had the opportunity to try a month of music lessons from Westchester County Moms Blog sponsor, Harrison School of Music, we jumped on it.
The Harrison School of Music is one of the largest and fastest growing music schools in Westchester County. Their goal is to foster confidence and creativity in students of all ages through exceptional music education.
He picked the guitar and I picked the Harrison location (though they have another office in New City – Rockland County). During our first lesson we piled four deep in the practice room: me, my son, my boyfriend, and our instructor Nick. The space was tight but it was cozy. During the first lesson, we borrowed a ¾ size classical guitar with stickers on the frets to make learning easier. It was perfect.
Nick was patient and taught my son all the parts of the guitar, then numbered the frets and strings, and had him playing something within a few minutes. Ultimately, that is what I was most impressed with. I remember taking piano lessons when I was younger and wanting to play something “good” but not being able to and feeling frustrated. Nick had my son playing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” after only one lesson.
We went back each week for four weeks. Occasionally arriving early and sitting in the spacious Parents’ Lounge (read: waiting room) listening to the vocal lessons, drum beats, and softly playing piano from the other rooms. We were able to relax in comfortable chairs with Wi-Fi, magazines and bottled water service. There is even a play area for younger siblings to wait. The lesson room doors also have observation windows so that you can watch the lesson while you wait. Or you can sit on their lesson anytime you like. It felt good to be a part of the music.
Week two my son had two new songs under his belt and was reading real notes. Week three he learned finger exercises to build the muscles needed for real rock and roll shredding. During our final lesson Nick was gracious enough to arrange one of my son’s favorite songs: The Mario Theme Song, so he could play it with the notes and strings that he knew.
The lessons were engaging and they really focused on the unique needs of my son. He grew a greater appreciation for music and tapped into something he felt “good” at – not always an easy task for a kid like mine. The one-on-one instruction was full of encouragement and tailored to exactly what my son wanted and needed.
To showcase everyone’s talent they also offer free music recitals at least two times per year. Of course every parent wants to know how their child is doing and if they are really progressing. In December and June your child can choose to perform in a recital held at a local venue. They also follow the Musical Ladder System® giving their students the opportunity to earn special color wristband bracelets (kids and teens love them!) for passing musical tests. This system inspires students with smiling faces by giving them full color, really cool “Musical Ladder®” Wristbands that they can show off to their friends. It’s great insentive since kids practice more when a test is coming up, and as parents we can be proud of another accomplishment.
I would highly recommend Harrison School of Music for anyone interested in quality music instruction for their child.