Violin lessons are an important first step for children learning the instrument, but that shouldn’t be the end of a parent or guardian’s involvement. Weekly violin lessons in Seattle are meant to serve as guideposts for your child’s learning – important checkpoints that keep them on the right path. In between those lessons, however, the heavy lifting will be done by your child in their daily practice throughout the week. This is where a little parental support can go a long way. Violin has a steep learning curve, and there’s a lot that parents can do to help their child get the most out of their lessons and their practices – and you don’t need any musical training! Even though you might not understand the specifics of what they are working on, you can still help to create a good environment for your child’s learning. Here are six key tips for supporting your child through their musical journey.
Encourage An Interest In Music
Kids who feel engaged with music will be more interested in learning music. Encourage your kids to listen to music, to explore different genres, and to delve into their favorite artists, songs, or videos. Talk to your kids about your favorite artists, your favorite genres, and what music was like when you were a kid. Watching movies and cartoons about music – movies like Coco, Trolls, or Bohemian Rhapsody – is another great way to pique your child’s interest in music! These things will help give them context for what they learn on their instrument, and will help them to develop their ear and their taste.
Encourage An Interest in Violin
In addition to fostering a general musical interest, give a little special attention to their instrument. Point out the violin when you hear it – not just in classical music, but in pop songs, hip-hop samples, or soundtracks. Violins are everywhere in music, and your child will be more engaged once they realize the wide world of sounds they can explore on the violin. If you know someone who is a Seattle violin teacher, you can also ask them for tips on how else you make your child interested in playing the instrument.
Help To Maintain A Practice Schedule
Most kids – and adults too!- will have a hard time with self discipline, especially when it comes to daily practices. Even children who are really excited about learning violin won’t always want to practice, and if left up to their own devices they will often choose friends, video-games, or outside playtime over a practice. What does work really well for kids is routine. Work with your child to find a time for practice that fits into their schedule. Whether it’s right before or after school, sports, meal, or bedtime, having a consistent practice schedule will keep children improving gradually every day.
Keep Practices On Track
Sometimes, even the most excited students will lose some gusto for practicing. To help keep practices focused, don’t make your child play for a set amount of time – instead, have your child play through everything they’re working on. This puts the ball in their court time-wise – if your child is impatient and really wants to go play outside, they can speed through everything in under 10 minutes. If they’re dragging their heels or just taking it slowly it could take 40 minutes or more. Make practices fun, as well by making them try new things such as finger exercises to improve violin play.
Allow For Independent Learning
Learning violin gives your child something unique that they can be proud of. Part of that pride will come from your child knowing how to do something that most people don’t know – not even their parents! Make sure your child is practicing regularly and generally staying on target, but beyond that, give them space. If you do need to remind them to stay on track, try not to come off as nagging or insistent. Make sure they know that once their practice items have been played, they can improvise and explore the instrument as long as they want. The violin is their thing, and that will give them an important sense of ownership over their learning.
Provide Honest Praise
When you can tell your child has been working hard on their instrument and you can hear them improving, let them know. You kids want to make you proud! Whether they show it or not, a few kind words after a lot of hard work will go a long way. Don’t overdo it – you don’t want your praise to come off as cheap – but don’t forget to give compliments when your kid has earned it. You want your kid to feel good about what they do, and your feedback is really valuable to them.
Take The First Step
When you and your child are ready to take the first steps on violin, contact us to set up lessons with a teacher! They can either come to your home to teach or can also provide online music lessons. Our virtual music lessons are taught by local music teachers who plan their lessons to suit your child. Contact us today to find an instructor your child will remember for their lifetime.