Your decision to provide your child with a quality musical instrument is an investment in your child's future. In making it possible for your child to play a musical instrument, you are providing the opportunity for self expression, creativity, and achievement.
Numerous studies indicate that parental attitude, support and involvement are important factors in a child's ability to successfully learn to play and to enjoy music. With the right support from you, playing music will become a natural part of your child's life.
For your child, music participation enhances: problem solving, teamwork, goal setting, self-expression, coordination, memory skills, self-confidence & esteem, concentration, poise, and much much more!
For your family, a child's music study also offers opportunities for shared family experiences including: musical event attendance, family music-making, performing for, and with, family and friends, learning about the lives of the composers and the cultural heritage of Western Civilization, a sense of pride and accomplishment for the entire family.
What To Do
Always keep in mind that your support is a key element in your child's success with music study. To give your child the best possible support, you should:
- Schedule Practice Times - music achievement requires effort over a period of time (a minimum 100 minutes/week when starting out). You can help your child by providing a quiet place in which to practice, remaining nearby during practice times as often as possible, scheduling a consistent time for practice, praising your child's efforts and achievements.
- Encourage your child to play for family and friends
- Offer compliments and encouragement regularly
- Expose your child to wide variety of music, including concerts and recitals
- Encourage your child to talk with you about his or her lessons
- Make sure your child's instrument is always in good working order
- Allow your child to play many types of music
- Help your child build a personal music library
- Try to get your child to make a minimum two-year commitment to his or her music studies
What Not To Do
Your child's progress will be greatly enhanced if you:
- Don't use practice as a punishment
- Don't insist your child play for others when they don't want to
- Don't ridicule or make fun of mistakes or less-than-perfect playing
- Don't apologize to others for your child's weak performance
- Don't start your child on a poor quality instrument
- Don't expect rapid progress and development in the beginning
If Your Child Loses Interest
In the event your child loses interest in his or her music studies, don't panic.
- Discuss the situation with your child to determine why their interest is declining
- Talk to your child's music teacher to see what might be done to rekindle their enthusiasm
- Look at other musical options so they can still enjoy the benefits of learning a musical instrument
- Encourage your child to stick with it for an agreed to period of time
- Offer enthusiasm and support for whatever decision they make
Credits: Music Educators National Conference, National Association of Music Merchants.