Long Island is a little different from the busy city life of its neighbouring cities. Life on Long Island is quaint, pleasant and very much out of a romantic novel. The island is heaven for Instagram lovers. It is beautiful with pristine beaches everywhere, amazing old architectures, hiking trails, glimmering rivers and there's music.

It is difficult to imagine Long Island without music. In fact, no matter how far you go in history, you cannot find a time when music was not a part of this island’s heritage. The Long Island Music Hall of Fame currently works towards preserving the long-standing musical heritage of the island. Till date, this organization has inducted more than one hundred musicians and industry execs.

Long Island might seem like a small area, and you might think that your search for music schools will be finite and quick, but you will be in for a surprise. When you search for “music schools on Long Island” you will get over 351,000,000 results. Referring to Google Maps is no less confounding since it shows over 20 registered schools on the island complete with their address and other information.

Steps to finding the right music school in Long Island

Going through each listing on Google can be exhausting, but that is what you might have to do for finding the best music schools if you do not know another way. Here is a quick guide to finding the right music school for you or child or a loved one –

Find the right fit

Ask questions like “will there be private lessons," "how much for private lessons," "what kind of ensembles do I get to play in," and "will I get one-on-one attention." These are often the key questions that will lead you to the right place. Opening up during a group session can be difficult when someone begins taking music lessons. Some schools have mixed groups where beginners practice and learn with more experienced students. That can be derogatory for a novice's confidence. Every age is the right age to learn music! You need to ensure that your music school has dedicated classes for beginners only and that your child or spouse gets one-on-one attention during the session.

How are the teachers?

We have seen all kinds of instructors. We have seen people go JK Simmons (Whiplash) on their new students and that is something you do not want at any cost. You need an instructor who is caring, understanding and helpful. Not having enough help can result in a significant setback. Children and even adults often think about giving up music if they do not have the right kind of encouragement and guidance. They should be professional, but at the same time, they should not be puppets to the clock. The best way to find the best teachers at these schools is by checking out the young musician’s forums on Long Island. See what people are saying about their experience at these schools and their exchanges with these teachers. Nothing is more reliable than genuine reviews and testimonials from ex-students. Always remember to check at least 20 such reviews per teacher before forming an opinion.

What is your personal goal?

Are you a novice, who wants to try playing the piano or the cello for fun? Do you want to become a professional musician? Have you taken music lessons before? Is it for your senior parents to help them remain productive? Or, are you looking for music lessons for your child? Your objective will influence the choice of the music school. Some schools have private lesson plans for senior citizens and adults that accommodate their interests and daily schedules. Schools targeting the younger population, especially children often offer private tutoring options as well. There is a right school for every need. If you are looking for music lessons on Long Island, prioritize your goals before you commence your search.

Have a word with the authorities

When you are about to pay good money to enroll at a music school, you have every right to be inquisitive. Ask about the rate of success, the types of workshops they hold, the kind of exposure they offer and the experience of their staff. Look for music schools that always participate in national and international competitions. These schools are likely to provide more exposure to their students. The available technology, state-of-the-art training methods and flexibility of private lessons should impact your final decision making.

Searching for schools was never easy, but finding a music school on Long Island is especially hard. It is not because there's a scarcity of music schools out there, but that there are too many of them, and picking one out of so many is never easy. These four points should guide you toward the right choice.