9 Tips From The Music Studio Atlanta
We all want our children to be successful, so you’ve probably thought about how to support your child in music lessons. In truth, your children’s success with music lessons is as dependent on you as it is on them.
We’ve been in the business of providing music lessons for over 30 years, and we’ve seen some impressive growth in children when they study music. We’ve also learned what works and what doesn’t, so please allow us to offer some tips.
1. Learning music really is important for your child’s development.
Learning music helps with reading and math skills. It builds confidence, teaches responsibility and care for an instrument, teaches consistency, creativity, goal setting and so, much more. And face it, no adult has ever said they wished they had stuck with playing soccer longer. This leads me to number two…
2. Wait to begin music lessons until you can commit at least one year.
It’s super hard to gain momentum and progress when you practice or take lessons sporadically. This can lead to kids becoming disheartened without knowing why. We’ve talked with many parents whose children had told them they “didn’t like taking music lessons,” when that hasn’t been the real problem.
You wouldn’t expect to get good at golf or tennis playing regularly for a few months, and then not again for six months, would you? So, please be sure you and your child have the time needed to commit, so you don’t become another music lesson casualty.
3. Choose the right instrument — or two.
Whatever instrument turns your child on, that’s a good one to start with. It’s definitely ok for children to try a few before deciding on one. It’s such a commitment of time and money, that children should be able to settle in and enjoy. It’s important for your child to like their instrument of choice and their teacher. This leads to number four:
4. Make sure you have the right teacher.
This is a great way to support your child in music lessons. We all have fond memories of our favorite teachers, and that’s what we want for you and your family. All of us at The Music Studio Atlanta definitely know how important it is to get this right, so we have the same goal in mind. If your children are not with the right teacher, you’ll know it. No worries!
We can change teachers until everyone is happy. We all want your student to have success on their musical journey.
5. Support your child in music lessons with a great practice space.
We get it, the practicing is not going to be great for a while, but set their music area up in a place where you can give a few “atta girl!” or “atta boys!” every once in a while. And P.S., the basement is a scary place to practice by yourself, so if that’s where your piano is … please move it! Put the piano near the family’s favorite areas, but not right in the middle of the chaos.
6. Your child is not going to practice as much as you think they should.
Progress is measured in so many different ways, and the number of minutes that they’re engaged with their instrument is not always an accurate measure. We, as teachers, will work very hard to find pieces that they will love to play, and encourage them to play those pieces often. That may be 5 minutes, or it could be 30, and playing time will grow as they grow as musicians.
Children usually don’t begin to play at home on their own until their middle school / teenage years, so please don’t worry. Sit and listen to them play and complement any effort.
7. Encourage performance (grandparents eat it up).
Students may say they don’t want to, but we know once they perform at a recital and get a trophy for the courage it took, well, they want to do it again. Who doesn’t want a little recognition?
We encourage participation at our open mic nights and recitals. Performances outside of the Studio are also great experiences. These can include assisted living homes, festivals, and anywhere else fun that has a loving, non-judgmental audience. It builds self-confidence by leaps and bounds in all areas of life. Score!
8. Support your child in music lessons by not letting them quit!
Ask any teacher, and the truth is the moment kids want to quit is usually about the time they’re about to break through to the next level. The problem here is that it takes a little extra effort (and vulnerability) to work through the difficulty, and that can make them want to stop.
But don’t let them stop! This is a magic moment — if they push through, they’ll make amazing progress. The “wall” can come anywhere from 6 months to 1 year, but please, help them stick through it. It will pay off – it just takes a minute to learn a new language.
9. Hard work beats natural talent every time.
This life hack is sort of a spin-off on the tortoise and the hare. Sure, there are some folks who can pick up an instrument and sound decent immediately. They’re naturally talented in music, it’s that simple. But if they’re going to be successful, they also need practice and train. On the other hand, students who are not as musically talented can have a slower go at first but be totally successful with — you guessed it — practice and training.
With the right teacher, learning to play a musical instrument is accessible to everyone. When practiced and studied correctly, learning to play a musical instrument is something ALL students (children or adults) can find success in.
Read my tips on how you can prepare for that inevitable moment they say they’re ready to quit. And please leave us a comment with your questions or thoughts!