Close the classrooms! School is out, the sun is shining, the pool is calling, and vacations are approaching. For many people, summer is the most busy season of the year, filled to the brim with activities and trips and, perhaps most of all, the complete ability to switch off the brain and focus on the fun you’re having. Summer is for bare feet on the sand and cold drinks in your hand, sunglasses and sunscreen. Put away your lesson books and your instruments - they’ll keep just fine until the fall, right?
Most people, inevitably, will take the summer off from music lessons, or art lessons, or dance lessons, or any other type of lesson. It’s a deeply ingrained idea in our culture - classes close for summer so that we can relax. What if, though, this idea is actually counterproductive? What if the three-or-so month break is directly hampering your ability to successfully master the arts?
Music, like other forms of art, is an acquired skill. The great musicians of all time are the ones that spent their lives, countless hours, in devotion to learning and increasing their skill and their knowledge of their instrument. There are a great many youth who believe that art, be it audio, visual, or physical, is something that you’re born with - you either have it or you don’t. This simply is not true. If passion and desire are greater than fear and discouragement, anything can be achieved.
If you stick with your lessons through the summer, you will be steeped in a creative culture, surrounded by people with the same passion and desire that caused you to sign up for lessons in the first place. You will have accountability to continue your pursuits. You will be taught by a knowledgeable and excited professional. These aspects of lessons are immeasurably important. Culture inspires us to enrich it, accountability ensures that we do, and excellent teachers provide us with the necessary tools. In essence, the extra devotion you show to your art will benefit your mastery of it immensely.
Now, summer lessons in and of themselves won't make you great. You can't expect the simple act of buying a bench press to make you a bodybuilder. You don't buy a guitar and expect that you will instantly be Jimi Hendrix. It takes practice. It takes effort, and errors. Having a teacher though, and being surrounded by people in the same boat as you, will provide the atmosphere to nourish your effort and encourage you in your errors. What the gym is to a bodybuilder, the lesson studio is to artists.
You can become the Beethoven, the Elvis, the Mcartney of our time. You can be the Monet, the Van Gogh, the Picasso of the modern era. Just simply be passionate and devoted. Instead of taking a break from art this summer, stick with it. This summer, stick with music, drawing, or photography. Keep singing, keep drumming, keep painting. Talk to your instructor about summer lessons, and don’t stop creating.