Should I Encourage My Child To Take Music Lessons?
You love your child and want him to be the best. You want him to be involved with something that will build his self esteem. You want to find a useful outlet for all of that abounding energy. It must be something that will teach him discipline and responsibility. Suddenly, you seem to have it. You're child will take music lessons!
Your child seems OK with it, so you go out, spend a good wad of hard-earned money to buy an instrument and after two lessons he decides he's through.
Sound familiar? If not, this very well could be the scenario you face if your child isn't interested in music.
However, on the other hand, you encourage your child to learn an instrument and it turns out to be something they love for a lifetime! They learn the music and now after the hard work and effort it suddenly becomes as natural to them as breathing. You'll be forever grateful that you nudged them in the right direction.
Learning an instrument can be a wonderful thing for a child to be involved in. But there are several things that you must keep in mind before you sink your money into a dead end street.
Does your child show an interest in music? Is your child one that is fascinated by music? Does he like to play it, (on the radios or Cd's)? Does he sing? Does he seem to like to move with the music? If so, these can be some good signs, however they are not necessarily indicators that your child should take up an instrument. One of the best signs to look for is, has your child ever approached you that he/she might would like to play an instrument? If the answer is yes, then it's time to definitely begin to at least "think about it." Interest must be the first step. There are so many mothers that enroll their uninterested children in lessons and you can just tell that the poor kids just hate being there. Imagine a topic that really bores you and being forced to sit through a lecture on the subject. Get the idea? If a child is uninterested, he will not learn well, and the frustration will build. However, don't confuse disinterest with occasional laziness. Even if your child really wants to learn, he's still a child. Sometimes it will be more fun to play outside than to practice a lesson. That's where parental discernment will come in. You'll know if your child likes the instrument or not.
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Does your child have talent? If your child doesn't display at least some musical talent, you could just run in circles trying to get him to learn. However, like I said, interest is the most important step. Even if your child doesn't show an exceptional talent for music, if he wants to learn, then he can. It may just take a little longer. This is where encouragement comes in - and lots of practice. This is the point where you may be the one to get frustrated. Remember, never downgrade your child's ability. NEVER let your frustration show to your child and say NO to negativity. If he wants to learn, be his best cheerleader. Praise and affirmation go a long way.
What are his reasons? Find out why your child wants to learn an instrument. If he answers something like, "Because I think it would be fun," then you can assume that it's just something he wants to do. But if he just wants to fit in with the cool kids at school, you might want to reassure him that if he wants to learn that's great, but if it's just to be like other kids, then he don't have to do something just to be cool. He's special no matter what. While those kids are good at music, he may do better than them in another area.
Which instrument is right for my child? If your satisfied that this is something to involve your child in, the next step will be to figure out what instrument he should play. Sometimes, their personality can be an indicator. If they're full of energy and always bouncing off the walls so to speak, drums may be a good choice. If they are quieter, disciplined, and have a good memory, the piano may be the one to pick. However, your child will probably already have a pretty good idea what he wants to learn. As long as you feel it's a reasonable choice, go for it!
Finding out which instrument is right for your child can be the most confusing part so don't give up after just one attempt. To help save cost while experimenting, consider renting the instrument before buying it. If it indeed is a winner then you will definitely be wise to buy one.
Practice Makes Perfect! Once your child has taken up an instrument, make sure that he gets plenty of quality practice time. Teach him to properly care for his instrument, keeping it well tuned and cleaned. Praise him for each accomplishment. It may be fun to record or video his progress. Then, when he gets discouraged, he can see how far that he's actually come!