As anyone who knows our family will understand, music has always been an important part of our lives. Whether it’s been the soundtrack to our holidays or heading off to festivals, music is integral to almost everything we do. It would be nice, then, to give our children the opportunity to explore music in all of its forms. And not just the nursery rhymes and TV themes that seem to take precedent right now!
One of the best ways is to get them started with a musical instrument - but it’s much harder than it sounds. However, given that almost 85% of adults wish they had played an instrument at some point, there’s a very good chance your kids will feel the same. So, it’s important to at least try to encourage them - at least; we think so. I’ve been looking around for some ideas that might help you sell the idea of taking up an instrument with your kids - and here’s what I have found.
Let them chooseI remember being back at school and having several friends that played musical instruments. The trouble was, not even half of them enjoyed it. They were kind of pushed into it by their parents. Parents whom, I now suspect, thought that learning a violin or the flute was a much more sensible option than an electric guitar or a drum kit. I can relate to that slightly - I mean, who wants to put up with drum practice every day of the year? The thing is, if your kids aren’t feeling their instrument, it isn’t the best start. So, let them choose. Give them that big decision to make themselves, and you never know how much they will embrace it.
Take costs into account
Music teachers can be expensive - a quick search for private tuition on Google will tell you that. So, think of ways you can reduce those costs. Plenty of schools offer reduced fees for pupils, or you could try clubbing together with other parents for group sessions. There’s also the expense of the instrument to consider. So, think about piano hire rather than buying one outright, or ask your school if they have any instruments to loan out. They may or may not - but it’s always worth finding out. And, if your child is showing any musical talent then they will see it as a benefit to the school, so they may be able to sort something out for you.
As anyone who had music lessons as a child will tell you, music practice can be tedious. The scales, the progressions, and the same old songs time and time again. Although it’s part and parcel of learning an instrument, you have to mix it up a little. Talk to your child’s teacher and see if they have any ideas on how to bring some enjoyment to practice sessions. It might be the difference between your child quitting in six months and becoming a professional later on in life.
Finally, you have to involve yourself in your child’s learning as much as possible. But, that doesn’t mean standing over them when they practice and berating them for their mistakes. Give them praise and be their number one fan - and it might give them the confidence and desire to go further.
Anyone out there struggle to get their kids into music? If so, let me know how you deal with it!
As anyone who knows our family will understand, music has always been an important part of our live...