Parents and Music Lessons
When it comes down to it, music teachers come, teach, and leave but it’s the parents that are involved in the trenches of music lessons day in and day out. It’s no mystery then that even with an amazing music teacher leading the music lessons, parents make music lessons come together in a number of ways. While it’s possible to have successful private music lessons with no parent help, if parents work toward lessons succeeding, they often do.
Practice Every Day You’re Awake
Parents can ask how much should my child be practicing and we have a lot of helpful hints and articles on that in our past blogs. Everything from practicing your age to practicing smarter not harder and more. As helpful as these techniques are and they are good, parents that can teach that this is something we do without teaching this is something we “have to do” really set the music student up for success.
We never like parents to be the enforcer but more of the biggest fan who wants to hear their child play as much as they possibly can. When a music student feels like going to her instrument is a celebration, then it will indeed be just that.
Listen, Listen, and Listen Some More!
Picking up on our last helpful hint for parents, listen to your child play her instrument. Don’t send them away to go practice in their room, or have them sit at the piano alone. Instead, lets get the TV turned off and have them set up in the living room. Or, if there is a piano room in your home, join them their while they play. Bring a book and listen to them play as you read. I would discourage using your phone while they practice.
Think about what the emotional response is to someone who listens to you, this is seen as big time positive reinforcement to your child’s practice time. Since music takes time to learn and the teacher may have specific instructions, unless your teacher has given you specific ways to help your child, listening may be enough. You don’t want your daughters practice time to be viewed be her as the time where you constantly correct you but you do after all check her homework, so work within those guild lines. If you are practicing or helping your child, don’t let her feel your frustration if you don’t understand something, instead teach her to ask specific questions.
Having Them Ready For Their Lesson
For lessons in your home, you’ll have to be ready when the teacher arrives in the same way that if you took your child to a lesson at a music school. They’ll have to take supplies to the lesson and be there on time. This can sometimes get over looked because after all, the lessons are in your house. Not every student is disciplined enough to be able to do this on their own. There’s no age and as the parent of a child you’ll be the best judge of when a student is ready to be responsible enough. A 6 year old for example is rarely able to collect and have all their materials ready to go but a lot of 10 year olds can.
Bringing Brother Or Sister Into The Lesson
Heck yea! This is such a powerful way for parents to teach the whole family that there is a positive interest in music lessons. You’ll bring a sibling into the room to have them watch their sisters lesson, you’ll teach and show them to be a quite observer showing them that what happens in a music lesson is important and needs to be paid attention to. When the music teacher and student are having fun the sibling will also see that. I know in my lessons when a younger brother or sister peak in, I always take a minute at the end of the lesson for my student to play for their brother or sister.
This also has such a positive affect on the student, they feel respected and privileged to have music lessons and to have a skill. Lots of siblings grow up playing music together and what family wouldn’t love that.
Parents Really Do Set The Bar For Music Lesson Success.
In conclusion, it’s really our parents that set the bar for our success. It’s the students work but the parents interest in that work that feeds their fire. It may be easy to think as a parent “I’ll let them try it and see if they like it” but that’s not really true when you say it out-loud. It should be “I’d like them to play an instrument and I’m going to work hard to support their private music lessons”. It’s this kind of attitude that gets a student into music and a continued interest in this highly desirable art form.