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Musical Instruments For Kids - Parents Make These 10 Mistakes (Part 2)
Here is Part 1 In Case You Missed It
Learning a musical instrument is arguably one of the most important aspects of your child's education. In getting them started in music, parents need to do more than merely provide the financing and car rides to music lessons. This article will discuss 5 more mistakes that parents can make when getting their child started in music.
In Part 1 of this article, I discussed the first 5 mistakes that parents make when getting their child started in learning a musical instrument. Here in Part 2, we will be looking the last 5 mistakes.
6. You might enroll your child into a group music lesson when you should have enrolled him/her into private lessons, or vice versa.
This really depends on the age of your child. If your child is very young, around 3-5 years-old, I would enroll him/her into a group lesson like a Suzuki class. I like group lessons, especially during the early childhood stages because it teaches social skills that will enrich development. And this is not too young to start because the Suzuki Method teaches how to play the instrument first and learning to read music later.
If the child is between 6 and 12-years-old, I would enroll her in private instruction. She will get the most out of the one-on-one attention. If you have it in your budget, you could enroll your child in the Suzuki class for a year, which meets once a week, and then also enroll her in private instruction once a week. This would give your kid the best of both worlds because the teaching methods are different. After a year of the Suzuki Method, I would just keep your kid in private lessons going forward.
7. You may have forced your child into taking lessons before they were ready, or you piqued her interest
It's very important to begin culturing your child into enjoying music. You can never force someone to like music. But there is evidence that suggests that young children who are exposed to music on a regular basis during the very early years will develop an inclination to the pleasures of music. You can have classical, jazz, or even pop music on all the time! The developing mind loves music.
I would also add that it's never too late to start having music on in the house and car regularly. If your child is above 6-years-old, you can still do the same thing. The difference will be that you should engage with your child in a conversation about the music you're listening to together. It will not only develop an appreciation for music but also a bond between you and your kid.
8. You may have chosen an instrument for your child that he/she is not interested in learning.
You can't choose an instrument that you always wanted to learn or that you may already know how to play. Also, please don't choose an instrument for your child because you like it. Even though kids don't always no yet what they like and don't like, you should let them choose. This will give them a chance to make a commitment and take responsibility for their decision. You will have to stress to them they will be practicing on that instrument every day so they understand their new responsibility.
9. Your child might quit and you don't know the real reason why
There could be many reasons why your child has decided to quit learning their musical instrument. But one reason that you should consider first is the teacher. If your child is enrolled in group lessons, sit in the back of the classroom and observe. Don't go out to run errands. Stay there and see how the teacher is instructing the class. Is she teaching in a way that you would find fun and interesting? If the answer is no, then your kid probably doesn't think so either.
If your child is taking private lessons, it would be wise to observe as well. Many private teaching studios have a window on the door so that you can watch the lesson without your child knowing. This is one way to investigate how the teacher is instructing your child, and also to see if your child is either misbehaving or not paying attention. If your child is misbehaving in the lesson, you are going to have to put a stop to this. It's the parent's job to put a little pressure on the child for this problem.
I would also have a conversation with the teacher to find out the reason why your child doesn't want to learn the instrument any more and if possible, how the lesson plan can be modified to pique interest again.
If you find that the teacher is not very good, not engaging, and not doing everything he/she can to motivate your kid, then you may want to consider changing teachers. But before you do that, send your child to a new teacher for one lesson to see if she likes it better. Just make sure you are present at that lesson. Even if you have to be in the room with them. Grab a magazine, sit behind your kid and out of view if possible. Just pretend to read your magazine, but pay attention to what's going on in the lesson.
10. Your child may have a lack of motivation to practice and you don't know how to deal with it correctly
Lack of motivation to practice doesn't mean the your child wants to quit altogether. It could mean that the material is very difficult. Or it could be just laziness. Your child needs support from her teacher and you to achieve. Learning a musical instrument will be one of the most challenging subjects that your kid faces in education. But the value of musical achievement will make everything else in your child's life much easier.
You could also create a “rewards program” at home. Offer your child a reward for practicing 30 minutes a day. Try your best to not make it bribery. You know what your kid likes. Use these things to entice her to practice and to take it seriously. When your kid learns a new song, you need to applaud her for the accomplishment and to encourage her to keep practicing and learning new songs.
Parent's Guide: How To Get Your Child Started In Music
Parent's: Keep Up The Good Work!
If you follow my instructions to avoid the mistakes above, I want you to know that you are doing a great job in getting your child past the challenging early stages of music education. The main point is to get involved and stay engaged in your child's music education and development. By doing this, you'll find comfort in knowing that you're doing all you can in helping your child.