Having been music teachers for years, we have come to realised that parents do play a significant role in helping children learn their instruments. So you are a parent, and you have found a music teacher in the neighborhood who can come to your house and give your child lessons every week. Here are a few tips for you to help your child get the most out of it.
After you’ve decided on the instrument and found a teacher, the next step is to acquire an instrument for your child. It might seem obvious, but I have had a young pupil whom I had taught for over a year and a half and still didn’t have a keyboard or piano at home. Ask your teacher for advice about decent beginners instruments, there are also instruments for hire if you don’t know how long your child will commit to it.
Practice, practice, practice
You can have the best teacher for your child, but in order to make any progress, she/he needs to practise regularly, as most of the learning is done through going over learned material repeatedly. Good teachers will encourage pupils to practise at home, but young children usually don’t have the self discipline that older students have, and that’s why parents need to instill in them the importance of practising.
Just like you schedule in violin lessons, football practices, or afterschool clubs for your child, you might want to set aside times during the week for your child’s practice sessions. It could be just 15 minutes a day, in the morning, or after school. Given the amount of extra-curricular activities children take part in nowadays, they definitely need help managing their schedules.
Even if you don’t know anything about music or learning an instrument, try to learn alongside with them, and listen to them play. Children need more encouragement than adults when they are learning, and sometimes they could get frustrated when they get stuck or can’t do something straightaway. They need someone to teach them about patience, how to persevere, slow down and try again. Sit next to them during their practice, even just as an encouraging audience, so that practising becomes a fun activity for them.
Learn an instrument for the right reasons
There are arguments for how playing an instrument benefits your brain, and to many music is a passion, gives them confidence and even purpose in life. It’s good to give children the opportunity to try out different instruments, but at the end of the day, they need to find enjoyment and fulfilment in it. Don’t do it just so they could pass exams that would make them look good among other kids, and also don’t do it if they just don’t have to time to put into it. If they are having a good time, they will pick up their instruments on their own.