The benefits of music lessons are well documented. From improved self confidence to higher test scores and delaying cognitive decline, learning music is one of the best ways to improve your quality of life and combat Father Time.
Music lessons are a fantastic way to challenge yourself or your children, while providing skills and activities that can be carried for a lifetime. Signing up for lessons is just the start, however. The importance of family support for music lessons shouldn’t be understated.
Why is it important to show support for my child’s music lessons?
Support in any field will have a huge impact on the success of a student. Parents who strongly support their children’s music lessons and take active steps to ensure their children are well prepared will see far more success than those who do not.
Additionally, parents who support music lessons will find their children will have more confidence and overall enjoyment of the experience. Parents who encourage their kids and show interest in their activities will see incredible results, happier children, and kids more invested in these activities than without that support.
Without strong support, kids will often see their interest wane and motivation suffer. Children often take cues from their parents. So if it’s not a big deal to mom or dad, then it may not be a big deal to the child. If children lack the practice resources they need or the time to focus on it, their frustration will only grow.
How can I support my child’s music lessons?
Parents have many ways they can show support. Showing support for your child’s music lessons is a great way to assist in their activities, demonstrate interest, build their relationship, and help them grow.
Create the best environment
First, helping your child create the right environment will go a long way to help them focus. Keeping them free from distractions and respecting their practice time will show that it’s a valued activity and taken seriously. Practice time should not be dreaded and does not have to take an entire afternoon. Short, but focused, sessions will yield the best results and sustain interest long term.
Part of creating the right music practice environment also means setting aside regular time for the activity. Consistent music practice is critical to success and parents who set aside the time, help their children understand it’s an important priority in their life. Communicating with the teacher is also a great way to stay on top of this. Forbes Music makes this part easy, and has tools to engage parents with regular updates on progress, tracking repertoire, and even capturing video performances along the way to see all the growth.
Give thoughtful feedback
Feedback is incredibly important. Be thoughtful, kind, and encouraging. Honesty is always appreciated, but be constructive and enthusiastic about the development. Do not be overly critical. This can lead to loss of confidence, appeal, and motivation. The process of discovery is the most important element here. We all build our own individual relationship to music, and it’s important for kids to understand that their music learning journey will be unique.
Attend performances and recitals
Always attend performance opportunities. Your child may participate in recitals and/or concerts and seeing you in the audience will warm their hearts, give them confidence, and communicate your belief in them. Showing support for them by attending their activities shows care and an investment in their lives, and what they are doing has purpose.
At Forbes Music, we encourage participation in recitals, but it’s not required. Parents, friends and family are all welcome to join and cheer on students as they share their music with the world. In addition to in person recitals twice yearly, online recitals are held as well on Facebook, so even extended friends and family can comment, share, and like!
Provide tools for success
Beyond setting the right environment, providing constructive feedback, and attending recitals, making sure your child has the tools for success is essential. A proper sized instrument that is in good working condition, and all the necessary accouterments that go along with it, will undoubtedly make the development easier and faster. Providing necessary method and repertoire books will help lessons progress regularly and keep the learning trajectory on pace. And if you’re pursuing online music lessons, ensuring the technology is updated and working properly will help make everything run smoothly.
What are some ways to show support for a child who is shy and nervous about playing their instrument in front of others?
Some children dislike the attention or get nervous when the focus is on them. There may be a different strategy to support those students who do not like the attention or get “stage fright” easily. In these cases, being watched by more friends and family can have the opposite effect.
In these cases, leaning into the ways to support a child’s music lessons through their personal practice or lesson time will be vital. Giving your child tools to succeed and the space to do so without distractions and critical eyes on them will be the best things for them to discover their art and passion without the pressure of performing for others.
Casually inviting a private performance is important, so your child always has the option to do so, as well as offering regular praise for what you have heard through their personal practice time and the work they’re regularly putting in. This kind of feedback lets students know they can always share their music when ready and whether they wish to or not, the progress they’re making is real, valuable, and contributing to their well being.
Comfort is key.
In the end, making sure your child is comfortable and feels that what they’re doing has meaning, is ultimately the key. Music will have a positive impact on their life, not only improving cognitive ability but improving emotional well being and school/work performance.
By showing support, making sure you find the best music teacher to work with, and providing the best environment and tools to succeed, parents can help children create long lasting and positive relationships to music that will have strong impacts on every other aspect of their life.