Music-based after school programs can be a lifesaver for busy parents, and they provide structured activities that help children enrich their musical understanding and make meaningful progress. With so many choices available for after school programs, finding the right music-based program for your child can be tricky.
You’ll want to do lots of research and choose a school that works with your schedule and offers a payment plan that suits your lifestyle. You’ll also want to look for a place that offers a variety of activities for your child so that he or she stays engaged.
First and foremost, the after-school music program you pick needs to demonstrate that they make your child’s safety a top priority. The most appropriate after school programs will have several layers of safety protocols in place. Look for features such as cameras in all teaching rooms, a video display feed in the lobby, observation windows in each room, and an “open door” policy that enables parents to enter teaching rooms at any point during a lesson.
Also check that the instructors at the school have passed police reference checks and that the program employs a full-time office staff. In particular, the office staff should be available during teaching hours to address any concerns.
Next, look for an after-school program that creates a family-friendly environment while providing the educational excellence and opportunities that will allow your child to reach his or her musical goals. The best program will have a large number of instructors (ideally at least 20), and they will take care to match your child with an instructor based upon availability, personality, and the musical abilities. Find a school that specializes in teaching
The instructors at the most suitable schools should all be experienced in teaching children of all ages and should be flexible. If you want to better understand the importance of instructor experience and flexibility, you can learn more at learn more at Toronto Arts Academy — voted Toronto’s best music school every year since 2014.
To keep children engaged, look at what kind of motivational incentives and off-campus opportunities the program provides. For example, offerings like free wristbands or trophies, achievement certificates, free photo days, and free twice-yearly concerts at professional music venues are all motivational for students.
Since today’s families are busier than ever, it’s important to look for a program that has generous policies about payments and makeup lessons. The most suitable schools will offer month-to-month payment plans and will not make you sign any contracts. In addition, they will have policies that allow your child to make-up an unlimited number of missed lessons for free.
Ideally, the best program for your child will be open seven days a week to allow for maximum schedule flexibility.
The most appropriate after school programs will be based at schools that have numerous awards and accolades for their teaching excellence and family-friendliness. For example, look for a school that has won Top Choice or Consumer’s Choice awards. If you can, ask other parents who have children attending the program about their experiences.
After narrowing down your list with these criteria, make sure to visit the schools you’re considering, and take your children along.
Many programs will happily let your child observe lessons and other activities, and they may even offer your child a lesson as a prospective student. Observe how your child interacts, and make sure to choose a place where he or she feels comfortable and happy.