HIGH SCHOOL YEARS
Almost no student participates in High School music activities who has not had music study in the earlier years. First, the student will not be advanced enough. Second, the interest has not been developed. When a student continues music study at the High School level it will always be because the student wants to. Very rarely can a parent force a student to continue music in high school, who does not want to, without creating severe stress and conflict. If by the High School years a student wishes to discontinue, feel comfort in the fact that the student has acquired as much music education as he/she has. If the student has completed the KMI Core Curriculum or Level IV of the PPTA Evaluation, such a achievements are certainly worthy and meaningful.
HIGH SCHOOL BEGINNERS: Starting a music instrument in the high school years is VERY DIFFICULT AT BEST, simply because the student is often involved in many other conflicting activities (studying for exams, belonging to school social clubs, sports, law team, debate team, math team, cheerleading, dance class, boy/girl scouts, church activities, school play, etc.). Before diving into music as yet another activity, please make sure it fits your lifestyle and schedule. If your young adult is begging for lessons (regardless of the reason), you very well might have to require that she/he quit something else in order to have time for this new project. If it is your desire to start your son/daughter in music, make sure you understand your reasons very well, and that you are not setting her/him up to fail. Also, at this age students are considered adults from the standpoint of teaching materials. Click on ADULT BEGINNERS and ADULT LEARNING for more information regarding the age of the beginner student.
BEHIND THEIR PEERS: Many High School age music students will be behind their peers in their level of progress. This could be due to a late start, slow progress in the beginning or general low level of dedication in terms of priority and time. Students continuing to study music through the teenage years, even when they are behind their peers must be doing it for general education and/or love of music. Such interest should always be supported and no effort should be made to press the student to advance more quickly (providing some progress is measurable). If a teenager desires to be better, she/he will make it known (through word or action) and progress will be made. If the teenager is content to progress at the slow rate he/she is going, be happy for the interest and desire to learn - no money is wasted here!
HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC: There are many musical activities available at the High School level which may or may not have been available before: stage band, marching band, orchestra, chorus and school musical. In most cases the opportunities are multi-tiered in structure: several levels of band, chorus vs. solo in the play, etc. Only the best students are accepted to the higher performance group (marching band is always considered the best group, only those who can really sing will get leads in musicals, etc.) Further, each ensemble will have positions (first chair) where the student is recognized for being the best on the instrument, and will be invited to play solos as part of concerts. Those music students who are "behind their peers" (see above), and who want to rise to a higher position in the heirarchy of their high school music programs, will probably make an effort to catch up and do better.
OUTSIDE MUSIC: The performance opportunities available for High School age students are numerous and quite competitive. The minimum ability level for participation (joining) generally requires 5 or more years of private study, with consistant and meaningful progress. Although not always a requirement, consideration is also given to the student's experience in a lower level performance ensembles (e.g. the Symphonette prepares students for the Three Rivers Young People's Orchestra).
MUSIC CAREER POSSIBILITY: When a student reaches High School, the possibility of a career in music will become apparent - OR NOT. By this age, the potential professional musician will have participated in competitions - and possibly won one. She/he will have shown dedication and devotion for several years, as is demonstrated by numerous certificates of participation in juried evaluations and various performance ensembles. Comparision to other students will often have shown your child as one of the best in the age group - whether at recitals or other performance activities. The young musician will practice regularly and always without prompting from the parents. Such serious students will be in, or considering to apply to the KMI Young Artist Program.