Wiltfong Family Insights for New Music Students
By Mindy Cabral, Expert Contributor
Meet the Wiltfongs.
Sawyer is nine years old and he’s learning violin and piano. “I just heard the sound of the piano and loved it,” he says. “I wanted to make the sound so I could hear it whenever I want.”
Seven-year-old Berkley is learning voice and guitar and says, “I feel like singing is an opening. You’re expressing your feelings.”
Rigby, age six, likes the drums. He said, “When I wasn’t doing much at Little School of Music waiting for my brother and sister, I would play on the drums and I wanted to learn it.”
The Wiltfong children have a special talent for music. Supported by their loving parents Bob (a professional actor) and Jill (a marketing professional), these three young musicians have had the opportunity to learn about their musical interests and develop their talents at Little School of Music.
Of course, with music lessons comes the dreaded practicing part. There is no way around it. But maybe it’s not as bad as it seems. Here’s how the Wiltfongs feel about practicing:
Sawyer: “I usually practice classical and jazz songs three to four days a week, 20 minutes per session. You feel like ‘Wow. I’m playing this instrument!’ I get to hear a beautiful sound when I play something.”
Berkley: “I usually practice pop songs, classics, technique and scales three days a week, 30 minutes per session. Practice makes perfect! I get to get better and that’s exciting!”
Rigby: “I usually practice scales, technique and songs two to three days a week, about five minutes per session. Each practice you’re getting a little bit better and I like getting better at things.”
Another important part of learning is staying motivated. Having a variety of programs and setting obtainable goals are key elements to keeping your interest and making all the practice feel like it’s going somewhere. Here’s how the Wiltfongs stay motivated:
Sawyer: “At my previous music school [in Manhattan Beach], I got a medal every time I completed a practice book. I also get Recital Certificates.”
Berkley: “I’ve been in private lessons, Pop Diva Camp and the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program at Little School of Music. [Berkley earned First Class Honors with Distinction in Voice in December 2014, the highest honor in the program.] I’ve gotten Recital Certificates and placement as a solo artist in my school variety show this year. I love to do voice!”
Rigby: “However many minutes you practice, you earn music money at the school to buy cool stuff. Being in a recital made me feel happy that I was doing it [playing music] and I felt happy for the other people doing it because they were overcoming stage freight.”
After attending Little School of Music for several years, the kids have some great tips for new music students:
Sawyer: “Pick an instrument that you like and don’t do an instrument just because your friends like it.”
Berkley: “Love it. Live it. Practice it.”
Rigby: “It’s a very good music class at Little School of Music, if you want to do it.”
For more information on how to get started in music lessons, or to enroll for Music Summer Camps, visit us online at LittleSchoolofMusic.com, or call our friendly staff at 222-2239.