Are you a parent with a very creative child? If your son or daughter make up songs in an instant and has even started writing them down you may have a songwriter on your hands. Here are five ways that you can help your young songwriter.
Encourage them to explore other talents.
Most songwriters actually come up with the best ideas while doing something else. Sometimes it’s while playing a sport or doing something completely different like jogging. Pharrell Williams, songwriter/producer of “Happy”, came up with this song while he was taking a shower. Most great ideas don’t typically come from actually forcing yourself to write. However, practice does make perfect, which leads to the next.
Encourage them to write down their ideas.
This is very important. Every young songwriter needs a songwriting notebook. Some studies show that the brain processes handwritten words different than typed words. It’s still somewhat of a mystery as to why this happens, but Dr. Virginia Berniger believes that writing by hand is more engaging to the creative brain. The hand must make varied movements in order to express words which triggers connection to these words. So, make a notebook together, make a fun craft night out of it.
Listen to their creations and give them honest feedback with a healthy level of praise.
There’s a terrible feeling when you show someone you love your creation and either having them look at you like you have a horn growing out of your head. However, it may be even worse when they lie to you telling you that it’s wonderful when it’s really pretty terrible. Now, I know that the first creations aren’t that great. Barely anyone gets it on their first try. However, you can be a great help as a parent to give specific feedback to your little songwriter to help build confidence while sharpening some skills.
Encourage them to sing it in front of their music teacher and ask for feedback.
It’s great to perform in front of another musician. Musicians hear music differently than non-musicians, but both sets of feedback are equally important. When writing songs, the best songs speak to everyone. The goal is to have the world singing your songs, so it must be able to be enjoyed by all. A musician can really put words to the strength of a song or the direction that things should go and even suggest a couple chord changes here and there.
Keep Young Songwriters open to Explore several instruments.
Last but definitely needs to be included is the exploration of music. Songwriting, whether instrumental or vocal, is always made better by exploring different ways to create music. The piano, guitar and organ creates chords and foundation to a piece. The saxophone, clarinet, flute, trumpet and other horns create melody. The percussion creates rhythm and an understanding of complex rhythm. Each of these concepts must be truly understood by a songwriter, and growing up learning different instruments always fosters a deeper understanding of these musical concepts.
All these steps are actions to take as a parent of a young songwriter. Music can be an amazing career, or side business for the dedicated. Songwriters come in all shapes and sizes with all manner of careers, because all one needs is a pen, a piece of paper, and creativity.