7 Strategies to Keep Your Child Engaged in Music Lessons
Posted 4 years ago by B&B Music Lessons
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When children start playing instruments or taking music lessons, they’re eager and excited to learn. But as time passes, the excitement wanes and by nine months in, every lesson can be a fight and trying to get a child to practice seems next to impossible.
It’s normal for children to lose interest in activities. They get bored quickly and once they realize it’s not possible to become a rock star over night, they can get discouraged and might want to give up.
Yet, it’s important to continue music lessons. It’s super important to overcome the tendency to lose interest after the first year because the true benefits start to kick during the second year! Several studies using control groups show that after 18 months of lessons young students experience significant benefits, including improvement in academic skills, coordination, discipline and patience, as well as an increase in self-esteem. Overcoming this natural sticking point during the 12-18 month stretch is critical in order to get the most benefit from taking lessons.
Here are seven strategies that B&B teachers have found to help keep students excited about music lessons.
1. Find the right instrument.
A child may start with piano, then switch to guitar, before finally settling into playing the drums. Don’t give up if the first choice doesn’t work. There are many instruments, and letting a child pick what she’d like to play can encourage her to keep practicing.
2. Surround your student with music.
To keep a child interested in lessons, surround him with different types of music. Take him to concerts, symphonies, music stores, and jam sessions. Wherever there is music, go there. Exposure to live music will likely help ignite any young students imagination and help them stay focused.
3. Teach a song.
The excitement a child initially feels when he learns an instrument fades when all he knows is scales and chords. As soon as he starts learning, teach him an easy song. This makes him feel accomplished and gives him a way to demonstrate his skill.
Music is creative. When a child’s practicing, let her explore the instrument. While practice should include specific exercises and skills, there should also be time to jam and make noise. After all, if practice isn’t fun, it’s never going to be easy to get her to do it.
5. Get involved.
Parent involvement is key to long term success with music lessons. Taking lessons together is a great way to keep a child engaged, but if that’s not possible, talk to your B&B teacher on a regular basis. Often children need to be shown what to do, so make sure you understand some of the basics too and be able to help during home practice when it’s needed.
6. Encourage pursuit of music interests.
Children have their own interests, especially when it comes to music. Encourage him to learn songs he likes on the radio as well as the classics taught in class. By incorporating the child’s own likes into learning, he is more likely to want to continue. We should all be openminded when it comes to letting a young music student find their own points of interests.
7. Celebrate small accomplishments.
Learning an instrument is hard work. Skills take years to prefect and even professionals make mistakes. When an accomplishment is reached, celebrate it, no matter how small. This keeps the child interested in learning and has the benefit of boosting her self-esteem. We have found that students who regularly participate in the B&B Recital, held twice per year, experience faster growth and experience a boost in confidence and self esteem.
B&B Music Lessons has administered over 100,000 music lessons during the 10 years we’ve been in business. We pride ourselves on changing lives through music, one lesson at a time. Just remember that you’ve got to stick with the lessons long enough to allow the real benefits to kick in.