Musical Orientated Lessons (Instruction)

1) Marcia Kapor - Lessons are an intricate part of learning an instument, vocals, or dance. If one is lucky and talented enough, they may be able to teach themselves to do these things, such as the chords of a guitar, vocal scales, or dance steps, but learning for others usually requires an unstructor. Different venues are available for students who are interested in learning. A cost is involved with private instruction that ranges anywhere from $15.00 per half hour to $40.00 per 40 minutes of instuction per week. Spaces are limited and often instructors refuse to take on any more students.

Music Studios - Often, instrument outlets will have small rooms set up within the store for individual instructors to provide lessons. Billings has three such places available. A problem with this is there are only certain types of instruction available. The most available were instruction for guitar and drums, which is limited by the amount of students each instructor is capable of teaching. One studio offered instruction for vocal training along with instruction for guitar and drums. Two of the music instrument outlet stores do post individual names and numbers for instructors willing to teach students other instruments.

If one was interested in learning a different type of instrument, they would have to turn to private home instruction. Music instrument outlet stores will often post list of instructors offering these lessons. The most common was the piano, with any other type of instrument being very limited, which resulted in limited slots available for instruction. Occasionlly, postings for instruction can be found in the local newspaper, but once again, the instruction is limited to usually piano, guitar, or drum. Only one available voice instructor is listed in the local phonebook. The majority of her students are taught as a group with only a few paying the extra expense for private lessons.

Dance Studios - Dancing is an animate part of music. One can dance just to dance using any kind of freestyle movement or, for a more formal expression of music, dance lessons are available. Billings has many dance studios available for instruction. Listed in the local phone book are a total of 12 dance studios for instruction. Styles that are taught range from freestyle, ballet, tap, and ballroom. Cost may be a barrier for any one that may desire to learn from instruction with lessons averaging in cost around $35.00 per session (an avarage overall).

Public School Instuction - Students in Billings school district 2 are exposed to musical instruction with vocals beginning in kindergarten in the form of learning simple songs as a group. This normally continues through fourth grade with instrument instruction being added also. Called a recorder, students are required to take this one year of instruction. When they advance in education, choices are made available according to the students interest: continue in instruction of an instument; recieve instruction in vocals (choir); or not participate in either. Here, once again, instuction is limited. Piano, guitar, nor drum set instruction is offered. Perhaps this accounts for the availibility of private instruction on these instruments since they are offered far more often than other instuments at a cost. Occasionally, public school instructors will provide private instuction for students, but once again, at a cost. If any student is devoted and willing to progress further than what is taught within the public school system, they do have the option of exploring any of the above venues to do so. Dance within the schools is usually performed during health and fitness classes. The students are not offered a choice in what they would like to learn to perform. A popular choice for instructors seems to be a form of square dance or other formal steps. It is more of an exercise activity rather than a dance instruction lesson.

Exterior Groups - One venue for learners can be private groups. Groups sometimes form or gather for the pleasure of learning or jamming on instuments. One such group is the ballroom club at MSU-Billings. There, they teach and learn ballroom dancing free of charge. These are usually scheduled at set times so if one cannot adjust their personal schedule, participating may be difficult. Meeting at designated places, jam sessions can provide some instumental instruction as well. Most participants are more than willing to answer questions or demonstrate manauvers that they are capable of performing. It can be difficult to attend such sessions because most are done at the spur of the moment and are not on any set or listed schedules.

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