It can be difficult for a parent to know the right decisions about music for their child, especially if the parent doesn't have a strong musical background.
Here are a few tips to help you
Don't wait for your child to show an interest - music is an innate part of being human and plays important roles in brain development, emotional health, motor development, and more.
Many parents take a wait and see approach to music and will often only go to the effort for children who are showing some interest or aptitude. However, just like learning a language, music is best learned at a very young age.
Consider it as important as the 3 R's. Since music helps improve a child's abilities with the 3 R's, then it's really a win-win.
Potential Outcomes - Remember that music is as much about the process as it is about outcome. A musical activity may seem small or inconsequential, but it is usually very significant. Every small task creates an imprint. It's like a musical bank account. It develops the brain, it creates muscle memory, it helps make an emotional connection.... These are all very important. Music is not an instant gratification process and that's a good thing. Encourage your child to strive to do better, but find the balance so music can blossom rather than become a ride on a treadmill.
Where to Start - Don't rush your child into private study of a musical instrument too soon. Many parents want to start their kids in piano at 3, 4, or 5 years old. Unless your child has such an interest in a particular instrument that they can't think of anything else, it is best to start them in general music classes. There are many classes like this for young children. They focus on helping the child learn to listen, how to feel the beat, how to interact with music. As the child gets older they slowly progress adding things as they are developmentally ready.
If a child starts on a musical level before they are developmentally ready it can backfire. The child can get frustrated and may become determined never to play the instrument again.
You are not too late - Even if your child is already school age or a teenager, go ahead and get them started. It's not like an invisible window closes and you've completely missed it. It is ideal to start young, especially to give your child the opportunity to develop enough for advanced study, but don't get discouraged if you didn't understand that sooner.
Practice makes experience - Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes experience. The point of practice is to build skill and understanding. The amount of time spent in practice should be in line with goals and developmental levels. For most young and beginning musicians teachers expect about a half hour a day.
Studies have shown that short bursts of music practice are as effect as long sessions. Even six focused five minute sessions are very beneficial. It may be difficult for you or your child to sit down for half an hour with the busy schedules families have these days. Scheduling five, ten, or fifteen minute sessions is very doable for most people.
Remember to keep the time focused. Help your child decide what they are going to work on when they sit down and guide them to spend the session doing that. It can be anything that isn't quite right including mastering a tricky measure, improving tone or keeping the tempo steady. Be sure to spend time looking at the music more deeply, not just playing through it.
Time for fun - Be sure to allow time for fun. There's a time for discipline and a time for play. The beauty of discipline is that it makes the play much richer. The danger of discipline alone is the joy of the music is often lost. Many times the actions we take when we are just playing around are some of the best practice experiences.
Just remember to keep things in perspective, continue to find the balance between discipline and fun. This is a growing process in itself.
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You are invited to share your thoughts, questions, and experiences by commenting at [http://www.ourmusicalhome.com]. This blog is dedicated to helping individuals and families to know and experience music in deeper ways.
by Deborah Allinder Lee who desires for you to have a more musical life.