Help your child choose a musical instrument
Posted on 18 May 2015
There are many benefits to having your child learn to play a musical instrument. They learn a valuable skill, they also develop other skills related to learning, like listening. But one of the most important factors of playing music is being able to have fun with the instrument.
Many parents have a strong desire for their kids to learn to play music. There are different reasons behind this desire and not all of them are always completely beneficial to a child. We love music and encourage everyone, especially children to learn an instrument but there is a balance between encouraging and forcing someone to learn how to play.
Here is a helpful guide that we can use to help our children enter the world of music and music lessons. Ask these questions before you have your little one take lessons. Each child is unique and these guidelines may not always fit with a child's personality so do keep this in mind.
Is your child ready?
We've all seen and heard child prodigies and it isn't very hard for us to wish or even imagine that our child could do the same thing. Let us not forget that our children only have a short time to be children. They will have different levels of development and different natural inclinations. Some kids might want to pick up a guitar right away and some may just never enjoy music the way a parent does. Recognizing this is very important.
Being ready to take music lessons is an important part of music learning. Some instruments may require a certain amount of strength or physical ability. Some kids may not be emotionally ready to commit to music lessons. If they aren't ready for musical instruments yet, you can encourage them with fun singing and dancing lessons.
What instrument do they want to learn?
Children always manage to surprise and when they tell you that they want to learn a certain musical instrument you may be surprised. Letting them choose the instrument to play is just as important as waiting for them to be ready. Many kids stop playing music because the instrument they are playing was not the one they wanted.
Exposing them to different instruments and different music is a good way for them to discover new musical instruments. Take them to concerts, have them listen to songs that have unique instruments, and show them these instruments too.
Let us also avoid gender stereotypes when it comes to music. The drums are not just for boys.
Take your child's personality and musical preference into consideration.
You know your child and you know if you need to push them or step back. You may also have some insight about the type of instrument they declare they want to learn. Talk to them about it first. If you play the same instrument then give them a trial lesson or a trial run so they can see if it is what they really want. Actually, being able to give them a trial run for any instrument they say they want to learn would be ideal.
As a toddler did your child bang on things a lot or were they always drawn to stringed instruments? Try to remember what instruments they were attracted to when they were really young and see if any of that preference stayed with them.
Does your child have a preferred genre of music already? Perhaps they have a favorite band or song? When he or she hears them do they mimic the guitar, the piano, the flute, or the violin the most? These little clues might help point your child to the instrument they want to play. They may not even want to play a musical instrument. They may prefer to sing or dance. Some kids may even choose to stay away from music altogether and pursue other interests.
Music lessons are not always fun and games.
Learning music is not always easy. There is hard work, long hours of practice, and moments of frustration involved. Many kids will naturally want to stop their lessons once they encounter these bumps. This is why letting them learn an instrument of their choosing is important.
This requires a more delicate balance of parental authority and childhood freedom. You know your child so you have to determine if you make them stick to the lessons or stop them altogether. Keep in mind that once they have reached a certain level of skill, the frustration and anxiety may drastically go down and even disappear completely.
Encourage them to keep up the lessons and let them have a break when it gets too much. Take them out for some ice cream or a day at the park and when you get back they may just be ready to play some more music.
Being able to make music is a gift to the world. We can help our kids add more music to our world. But we have to be careful and make sure that they are making music out of love and passion.