I wonder how many adults say to themselves…”I wish I had continued my music lessons….”. Is that you? Do you have regrets about quitting piano? Many adults wish they would have continued their lessons. But, this is easier said than done. The lessons were possibly boring or too challenging, and your parents maybe thought it was a waste of money because you didn’t practise enough. There are many reasons why kids quit music lessons.
Well, now as a parent you are faced with the same dilemma. You want your child to learn music, but you know the challenges ahead with practising and discipline. You don’t want to waste your money. You want your child to enjoy what they are doing.
What are the best steps you can take to engage your child in a life of learning to play music and music education.
1. Show them you are interested. When you sign them up for lessons, get involved. Stay for the lesson. Watch them learn. Watch them play. Learning to play music can be a lonely sport. It takes time and commitment from both of you.
2. Start when they are young, and make practising an everyday part of your life. My kids practise their music in the morning before the bus, and again at night before bed. We split it up because we find it too challenging to spend 20 to 30 minutes at the piano at one time. Your child may be different. Your child may have no problem sitting and practising for 20 minutes, but every child is different. You just need to figure out a practise schedule that works for both of you.
3. Keep communication with the teacher. You can’t expect your child to move forward on his own without knowing what the teacher is expecting from week to week. And, make sure your child likes his teacher. He may not like practising the scales she assigns……but does he like the teacher?
When deciding about music education consider the following programs that engage the child in the fun experience of learning music.
MUSIC PUPS This program is world-wide and orginates in Atlanta, Georgia. Pups is for babies to toddlers. The music is fabulous. You receive and CD and songbook for each musical collection. The sessions run for 10 weeks at a time. You can find a class here. www.themusicclass.com.
MUSIC FOR YOUNG CHILDREN This program is world-wide and originates in Canada. Yes, I teach the program, but that’s not why I recommend it. I recommend it because it is a fun way to teach children a piano and music lesson. If we can’t keep the “fun” in music then children are more likely to want to quit. If we can’t keep the “fun” in music, then you as a parent are more likely to quit. Let’s face it. Don’t you want your child to thank you when he grows up for all those music lessons you paid for? Every Music for Young Children teacher’s style is different, but the curriculum is the same……and it is fantastic! It is not just a piano lesson, it is a music lesson. These students can go on and understand any instrument they want to play. Children as young as 8 or 9 are learning their Circle of 5ths, intervals and rest replacement. This is unheard of with any other program. This is the only program in the world that teaches this level of music education to 8 and 9 year olds in a way they can understand it. And, yes, you mom, you will understand it too!!
You can look for a Music for Young Children teacher here at www.myc.com. They are all over the world. It really is a smart investment in your child’s future.
Do you have any comments? Are you familiar with Music for Young Children? Why not drop me a line….. Susan