As parents, we’re used to hearing about the benefits that music can have for our children, including improved literacy scores, math scores, and emotional resiliency. So it’s only natural that most of us are racing to sign our children up for lessons.
But all those warm feelings disappear when we’re in stare-downs with seven-year-olds who have decided that piano lessons are the worst thing to ever happen to them. These tips for helping your child succeed in music lessons will help you and your young musician navigate those tricky waters.
Help Them Find a Practice Schedule That Works
Practice is one of the biggest things standing between your future Beethoven and success. After all, it’s during practice—not lessons—that your child will actually perfect their skills. But the idea of practice can be boring and intimidating for new musicians. So as a parent, you’ll have to help your child find a system that works. Here are a few strategies you and your child can try:
- Help your child decide what time of day they’re most able to focus.
- Create a space in the house in which they can practice without distraction.
- After lessons, talk with your child about what skills their teacher wants them to focus on.
- Allow your child a say in when practice happens.
- Reward consistent practicing.
Helping your child remember why they’re practicing in the first place is a good idea. Take your child to see live musicians, or show them videos with the pros. This will motivate their love of music by giving them a picture of what they’re working toward.
Take Advantage of Resources
You and your child shouldn’t feel like you have to go about this whole learning-an-instrument thing by yourselves. There are a whole host of resources out there to help new learners achieve their goals. Such resources include:
- Online skill blogs
- Local artist organizations
- Programs hosted by professional concert halls
- Music stores
Technology also has a role to playin your children’s music lessons. Things such as recordings, YouTube videos, and music learning apps may be just the support your child needs to get over a musical slump.
Emphasize Progress Over Perfection
Often, the biggest thing standing between your child and musical success is their mindset. Fortunately, that means that encouraging a shift in mindset can often be the easiest way to help your child succeed in music lessons. Help your child shiftaway from perfectionism. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the next Eric Clapton or Alicia Keys. But to get there, your child has to be able to accept where their skill level is in the present. Encourage them even when they make mistakes, and they’ll have the confidence to keep going until they achieve musical success.