Our Philosophy

A Letter From the Founder

When we think about music lessons, we often have an idea of what they will look like – weekly lessons, learning out of a book, a recital at the end of the year, blah, blah, blah. The teacher tells the student why practice is so important, but if we’re being honest kids have other things on their mind by the time they get home! As a parent of two girls, I have experienced the practice battle that often happens at home between lessons, and I don’t think that battle serves us or our kids. So, I want to challenge you to consider an alternative way to learning music.

Let’s compare learning music to learning to speak our native language. When you were learning to speak as a child, you were immersed in the language. You didn’t sit and practice, you just started trying to speak the words. Sometimes you made mistakes. Sometimes you pronounced a word wrong. But did you quit? No, you continued to surround yourself with other people speaking the language, and you made progress over time. Apply this to learning to play an instrument – your child can learn not just by playing their instrument. They can learn by listening to all types of music, playing games that enforce musical fluencies, playing with other musicians, exploring, and creating. Music is often referred to as a language. Forcing practice from the very beginning is not the way to learn a new language. There’s a bigger picture to the process than we usually imagine when we think of music lessons. It’s not all about the instrument, it’s about the well-rounded musician.

Let me ask you, how does someone get really good at something? They do it over and over again consistently over a long period of time. Taking lessons for a few months and then taking a break will only cause a student to lose the momentum they were building. This is why at Thrive we have decided to teach our students using a curriculum and method that truly makes learning fun so they will want to continue learning and playing an instrument (or several instruments!). That practice thing will come with time, but only if we keep them engaged now while they’re young and don’t let them quit.

As the times change, so do our kids. They’re not the same kids we were at their age, and they certainly don’t learn the same way we did! As a music educator, my goal is to make music lessons more in line with the learning needs of children by incorporating these elements:

Joy: Our students play games at every lesson. They often have so much fun, they don’t even realize they’re learning!

Collaboration: We have students play music with others whenever we can – whether in our exploration band classes, at band week, in a concert, or even at a teen or adult jam session. Music is meant to be played together!

Creativity: Our students flex their creative muscle and write lyrics from the very beginning (as early as age 4)!

Passion: We do this because we have a passion for kids, and we choose to inspire and mentor them through music. We hope that our passion will transfer to our students so they will carry a lifelong love of music and learning throughout their lives.

So, with all that said, I have one last question…how would your life be different if you had this opportunity as a kid?

Hoping Your Day Sings with Happiness,

Lisa Harper

Owner/Director

Thrive Music Academy