The Dos and Donts of Getting Your Child to Love Learning an Instrument

We all know that music can be inspiring, entertaining, and exhilarating. There are few things more enjoyable than listening to good music. If you're lucky enough to be able to play a musical instrument, you know the joy that can come from strumming those strings, tapping those keys, or blowing those reeds. It's immeasurable. But, with all the amazing aspects of music, why is it such a struggle to get your child to enjoy learning how to play an instrument? Some children naturally enjoy the learning process, while others rally against it like it with all their will.

If you're the parent of such a willful musical holdout, thankfully for you there are simple ways to help your child love learning an instrument. For your benefit (and sanity), I'd like to share the following tips-the Do's and Don'ts of getting your child to love learning an instrument-so that music is always a pleasure to your family's ears.

What to Do If You Want Your Child to Enjoy Learning an Instrument

If you want your child to enjoy playing, then you should:

· Always give the highest compliments for progress and commitment

· Spend time listening to your child practice and play without criticizing

· Share your favorite music with your child

· Make music a part of your everyday (e.g., visit places where a variety of music can be appreciated like concerts and recitals)

· Provide the best equipment you can afford for your child and make sure the instrument is well-maintained

· Encourage your child to talk with you about his or her lessons

· After practice has been completed, encourage your child to experiment with music

· Make available the opportunity for your child to play for others without pressuring him or her to do so

What Not to Do If You Want Your Child to Enjoy Learning an Instrument

If you want your child to enjoy playing, then you can't:

· Have unreasonable expectations for progress

· Turn practice into a penalty

· Make your child perform for others when they say "no"

· Provide substandard equipment and think your child will be able to play like a virtuoso on it

· Criticize or make fun of small mistakes in your child's playing

· Make apologies to others if your child doesn't play perfectly

What to Do If Your Child Doesn't Want to Practice

If your child is losing interest in playing, practicing, and/or performing, there are a number of things you can do as a parent to help remedy the situation.

· Talk with your child. Find out why your child doesn't seem as interested in playing any more. Refrain from criticizing, but be sure to ask plenty of questions to see if you can get to the heart of the matter. Does your child not like his or her teacher? Choice of instrument? Time of practice? Type of music? Length of practice?

· If your child is taking formal music lessons, speak with the teacher and brainstorm ways to create renewed interest

· Assess why it's important to you for your child to learn an instrument and make sure it's your child's decision to play as well as yours

· Start wheeling and dealing. Talk out an agreement with your child. If your child will commit to continue with lessons for a set period of time, he or she can choose to quit after fulfilling that commitment

· Be the best cheerleader you can be. Your enthusiasm, support, and compliments can make all the difference in the world to your child. Be their number one fan!

Ultimately, you just want our kids to learn a love for music as well as a love for learning, right? There are few more satisfying experiences than when a child learns both of these life lessons. Do everything you can to foster a passion for learning and music in your home.

Knowing what to do and what not to do is so important if want to grow as a harmonious and happy family. You can do it.

Starting from the top now, and a one, a one, a one-two-three-four?

Jon Butt is the publisher of Musical Instruments Guide , a free resource dedicated to all things musical. From electric guitars to drum sets, tubas to bagpipes, and every musical accessory in-between, the Musical Instruments Guide is packed full of informative articles, find top-rated musical instruments and online merchants

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