My Princess has had ballet lessons, tennis lessons and swimming lessons. She wants to take gymnastics at some point. But, we all agree in our family that she should take music lessons. That is really on our family to-do list within the next month. We are thinking piano lessons.
When did you being music lessons with your child?
A lot of children learn how to play at least one musical instrument while they are in school. I think in my Princess’ new school all kids learn to play the recorder in third grade. When I was at the same private school, I played the clarinet starting in fourth grade. I played it until 10th grade!
Do you play a musical instrument?
I actually cannot wait until I see my Princess play an instrument. I can’t wait for the performances or recitals. Of course, deciding that your kids should be musical is one thing. Actually getting them to learn is another animal entirely. Here are some of the tips I’ve been stowing away for taking music lessons:
Find a Fantastic Teacher
If you are musical yourself, this seems like the easy choice: you can be your son or daughter’s teacher! Viola! Money saved and comfort level established! Unfortunately, parents do not always make good teachers (at least in terms of formal lesson giving).
Hiring a tutor or teacher for your kid is a great option. You can ask the music teacher at your child’s school if he or she gives lessons (or knows someone who does). You can also go online and use resources like LessonRating.com to find qualified and kid-friendly teachers in your area.
Make it a Habit
A great way to go is to schedule practice sessions for the same time as your child’s lessons (obviously not on the same days!). This way your kids know that, lessons or not, they will be playing an instrument at certain times every day. Scheduling also helps them learn to work their homework schedules around their practice times and makes things easier for you.
This is particularly helpful for kids who are very shy or who are convinced that music is being done “to” them. Showing your kids that you’re willing to learn a new skill is a great way to help get them interested in learning themselves. You can encourage them further by asking them to help you get better at the instrument you’re learning. Kids love to show off the things they know (especially when it means they can “teach” Mom and Dad)!
Hopefully, with a solid schedule, a great teacher and enthusiastic parenting you’ll be able to help your kid love learning music. It is important, though, to not force things. If, after a few months your kids still truly hate their music lessons it’s okay to admit defeat and explore something else.