Lessons are a commitment for you as well as your child because, as a parent, your involvement in your child’s lessons is the single greatest indicator of success. The good news is that you don’t have to have any kind of musical background yourself, as long as you’re willing to learn alongside them. Beyond the basics of paying for lessons and arranging transportation, here are some ways you can (and should!) be involved in your child’s musical development.
It’s important to stay in the loop with lessons.
Research shows that when parents are involved in both lessons and practice, kids are more likely to continue in music and reach high levels of achievement. It’s important to know what’s going on so you can help them out at home. This may involve going to lessons and taking notes, especially when they first start learning. It’s vital to keep open communication with your child’s teacher and stay up to date on assignments and progress even if you can’t attend lessons.
Helping them with practice can take different forms.
Younger children need more guidance with every aspect of practice. They may not be able to accurately recall everything from their lesson or translate it into good practice routines. With children aged five to ten, it may be necessary to be present for every practice session, helping them to carry out the concepts taught in lessons. As they get older, they gain more independence and are able to practice on their own more effectively, especially if they have a strong foundation. Your involvement is still valuable, but may take the form of reminding them to practice or offering encouragement and recognition for the progress they make.
Create a musical home environment.
Many teaching methods stress the importance of listening to music at home. It’s a good idea to expose your child to classical music early on. You can help them in the learning process by having music on in the background as they do other things. Listening to the pieces they’re playing will help them in the learning process, but if you get tired of hearing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” for the umpteenth time you can explore other pieces in the classical music repertoire. This will give your child a taste of what’s out there, and you can broaden your own musical horizons as a bonus!
Praise them for their accomplishments.
Everybody needs encouragement now and again, and you are one of the most important people to hear it from. Recognizing their progress, no matter how small, will foster their love of playing. Keep comments positive and remember to also praise the effort they put in. It’s good to reward them for milestones, such as finishing a method book or practicing consistently
As a parent, your involvement is incredibly valuable.
Research shows that a parent’s support is the single most important factor in a child’s musical success. Fostering a love of music in your child is a gift for life. Be by their side and willing to learn, and there’s no telling where the journey will take you!
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