Guest post from www.KnowYourInstrument.com
Learning to play a musical instrument is a rewarding experience and helps children build confidence in their abilities as they grow. Developing a child’s musical abilities also stimulates brain functions involved in understanding language as well as mathematical and scientific concepts, which can lead to better performance in school.
Parents play a major role in providing their kids with rich musical experiences and supporting their children’s musical development. Research shows that parental support has a positive effect on a child’s enjoyment of music, their motivation to learn and their personal satisfaction with music lessons, their self-esteem and their general regard for learning a musical instrument.
If you would like to learn how to support your children’s musical development, here are some practical tips to follow.
Make music a regular part of home life
Let children listen to music, watch music/concert videos, engage in musical play, express themselves through music and practice their instrument as often as possible. By encouraging musical activities at home, you create a musical culture, an environment in which music is a permanent fixture. It’s not just an extracurricular activity but a part of life.
Provide a conducive environment
Children learning to play an instrument need a space where they can practice without distractions. If possible, set up a music room where your child can stay when they’re having their lessons or practicing their chords. The room should have ample lighting and good sound proofing. If you don’t have a spare room, a quiet corner will do. Make sure you turn off electronic devices that can be a source of distraction.
Appreciate your child’s efforts
You can also show your support by praising the effort your child puts into becoming a musician, especially after a particularly difficult lesson or practice session. Remember that it’s not the talent that matters, but hard work. Showing your appreciation for their efforts also reinforces the idea that practice, no matter how tedious it can feel at times, leads to mastery.
Take an interest in your child’s lessons
Children will be more motivated to learn if their parents are interested in what they’re doing. Ask your child about what they’ve learned that day, the pieces they’re working on, how they feel about the music and what they are going to practice the next day. It would also be a good idea to build rapport with their teacher so you can work out what’s best for your child and how your child would be able to enjoy their lessons more.
Help them build self-confidence through public performance
Knowing that family and friends will be coming over to watch them play can be a fantastic positive motivator for children learning an instrument. They would want to be able to play well for their loved ones so they practice more.
Playing in front of many people can indeed be scary at first, but as children gain more performance experience, the more their confidence grows as well. This would help prepare them for more difficult pieces and a larger audience. Make sure you give your budding musician a standing ovation!
What other tips would you like to share with fellow parents who want to support their child’s musical development? Feel free to leave a note in the comments!