No one starts teaching your child before you do. In the years I’ve spent teaching voice lessons in Washington, DC, I’ve always observed the impact of a parent’s presence in their child’s music education. Whether it’s math, reading, manners, or music, your children learn from you earlier than they do their teachers. Even if you’ve never touched an instrument, this can be a beneficial thing. The most important thing parents can do to prepare their children for music lessons is to be supportive, but not forceful. This can be a difficult balance to strike, so here are a few examples of what this support can look like.
Listen To Music With Your Child
This is number one for a reason. Even if there seems to be no educational component involved, listening to music is the first step to learning it. Encourage singing, clapping, and dancing to whatever music they like, and use it as an opportunity to expose them to some of the music you like. Do it now, before they’re teenagers!
Consider A Group Music Class
Even if your child is too young to begin private lessons with voice teachers in Washington, DC, there is no shortage of classes for groups of young children that begin to expose groups of children to music. Even if it’s not specifically a music class, you can find day care programs that play music for children. This is both exposure to music and socialization, both of which are important for any developing music student.
Find A Good Music Teacher
Notice I didn’t say voice teacher. Initially, a positive relationship with a teacher is more important than any specific elements of a voice lesson. No six year old is going to be learning operatic arias, so it’s better to begin their study with a teacher that can reinforce a love of music, along with a desire to learn more about it.
At this point in a child’s music education, familiarity with music is more of a goal than developing repertoire or even specific skills. If your child is getting exposed to music for 30 minutes a week and enjoying it, it’s better than spending 30 minutes a week on exercises and hating it. Positivity is key at this stage.
Avoid Performance Pressure
If your child loves to sing in front of other people, by all means encourage it, but don’t pressure a shy child to perform. If they are reluctant to sing in front of a large group of family members at the holidays, maybe have a grandparent approach them one on one and ask for a private concert. The key is to avoid associating performance with anxiety.
Show Curiosity In Your Child’s Progress
It’s much better to ask questions about what your child is learning than it is to demand a demonstration. Children are especially excited when they can tell their parents information that the parents do not know, so encourage this excitement in knowledge by asking questions and expressing surprise at the answer. “I can’t believe you’ve learned that much already!” Show interest in what they do, as well. Sing with them, practice songs together, and help them find their vocal range.
Create A Musical Culture At Home
This is a somewhat complicated task, but it can be accomplished with a lot of little things. If a chore takes X number of minutes, find a song of the same length and say “Ok, we need to clean while we listen to this one song, then we’re done.” Try to listen to one new song a day. There are a lot of things music has to compete with these days — TV, video games, YouTube, but it has an advantage in that songs remain fairly short.
Emphasize Music In Places Where It Isn’t the Focal Point.
Ask your child to remember the titles of songs from their favorite movies, or ask if they can sing the melody of the theme song of a TV show. Music is all around us in the modern world, but all too often it gets forced into the background. Ask them to bring it to the forefront!
I hope this article gives you an idea about the best ways to prepare children for voice lessons. Like many elements of parenting and education, it requires finesse, but will yield fantastic benefits. Whether your child is an aspiring singer or another kind of musician, being a supportive and interested parent is immensely helpful when it comes to developing both skills and passion.
All of our tutors at Lessons In Your Home are thoroughly screened. Our teachers will come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are being taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child! Contact us today to learn more.