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Should I Encourage My Child To Take Music Lessons?

Updated on July 23, 2012

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.

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!


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      Judy Lei 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. I think it is important for music educators to offer instrument orientation days for kids to play with, listen to, and try out several kinds of instruments before they choose one. I think it is perfectly fine for a child to change instruments if they feel another one suits them better. There are also scientific reasons to teach music lessons to kids. A study just came out today that says it makes kids better listeners. There is also proof that it changes the neural circuits of young children for life!

    • profile image

      Abby 6 years ago

      Love it!

      To the Point, Articulate, and Interesting.

      Children and Music


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      Violin Lessons at London Violin Studio 7 years ago

      One of the most important things is for children never to lose that innate curiosity. Music is one of the best ways of doing that. So long as the tuition actually opens up their minds, is totally creative, isn't that old-school 'let's bang information into their heads at any cost'!!

      One of my favourite quotes is that old Picasso saying: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” :)

    • blessedmommy profile image

      Carisa Gourley 9 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

      I started playing the piano at about seven or eight years old and then started playing in church for the congregation at about twelve.  It's something that has always interested and fascinated me.  I remember when I was just really small being taken with the piano and watching it being played.  It's just something that seems to have been born in me.  However, some children may develop a love for music but may need a little pushing to see it.  Having music in class is a great way to introduce music.  Some will love it and want to try it and some will never really care to learn.  But it is true that those who choose to learn an instrument have lives that are forever changed.  Besides just loving the art it becomes part of you and an outlet for expression, emotions and feelings that those who haven't learned music will never enjoy.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

      Music is a kind of intelligence and style of learning, so it would be great to expose children to it at least at some level. You hear of the people who did 10 years of piano lessons and can't play one song other than "Mary Had A Little Lamb," but it would be a shame if a child with a natural talent for music never got a chance to try it themselves. That's why I hope music stays in schools for longer! I was lucky to have music in my elementary and middle school, and while I initially tried the clarinet and failed to play one note the first day, I went on to play it for four years and then learned four other instruments. I don't know what my life would be without it!

      I do with my parents encouraged me to do more sports, however. I see my peers who played sports since they were very young, and are so talented at many sports today, that I wish I did more than a youth soccer league for three years :( Then maybe I wouldn't have been so bad at cross country... lol

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 9 years ago from NSW, Australia

      I encourage my daughter to play the keyboard,but she is not really into it but her love for music is still there instead she found her own instrument that she really like the flute...

    • ceounlimited profile image

      ceounlimited 9 years ago from California

      I believe that every child enjoys music and is artistic in one area or another. The greatest challenge is to figure out where your child's gifting lies and provide an arena in which that special gift can be nurtured and grow. I went through two very different instruments as a child before I was handed the one that was a good fit for me. Trial and error... they used to have a program for instruments - rent to own... that's how my parents managed until I settled. It's been 30 years and I'm still playing the sax! You covered the subject very well! I enjoyed reading your hub!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 10 years ago from Georgia

      I think that music is a great place ot put children. But as you've mentioned if the child has no interest in learning an instrument, then it'll end in a hurt wallet more than anything else.