Many people believe that “musicians are born and not made”, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! In the first two years of learning, it is almost impossible to guess who will excel, but everyone agrees that parents who are actively involved in their child’s music education are crucial to success.
We are often asked how parents can be more involved in their child’s education beyond checking “have you practiced?”. Whether you have any musical experience or not, here are some fun, practical ways to help you nurture your budding musician, that won’t take up much of your time.
Experience music together
One of the easiest ways to be more involved is to make music a shared experience. By sharing music together, you can explore different musical tastes and connect with your child:
- Attend live performances together – any kind of music from kids shows to the symphony and anything in between!
- Make music a part of the family – listen to it at home doing housework and in the car.
- Have “active listening” sessions – ask your child to pick some music take some quiet time to actively focus on the music and talk about it afterward.
- Encourage your child to talk about music – what instruments they heard, what they did or didn’t like, what emotions they felt, what styles of music they like. Talk about how enriching music is.
Set fun practice tasks and rewards
Think of yourself as the fun, positive coach cheering them on outside of lessons! Set up activities that aren’t directly linked to their lessons or include games and rewards for practice tasks they may be struggling with:
- If you sing or play an instrument, it’s always fun to play a duet together
- Have a family concert (or a video concert with family and friends!)
- Record some music to share
- Sit with them during practice and use apps and rewards to make it fun (check out our teachers favourite Practice Apps & Tips)
- Ask your child to teach you a little melody
Encourage communication and honesty
It’s important to have open and honest communication with your child about their musical education.
- Sit and listen to what they’re practising and ask questions about what they’re working on – what do they find challenging? What do they like or dislike about it?
- Ask them how they think they’re doing in their lessons and practice – is it enjoyable? Are there any areas of their education they’re concerned about?
- Talk to them what they think is their musical future is – is it a career path? Serious hobby? Or an appreciation?
- If your child feels they are struggling, ask how you can help – do they need help setting up a practice schedule?
Studies show that children with parents who provide lots of encouragement and praise are best placed to succeed in their musical education – whether they become professional musicians or develop a life-long love of music and enjoyment from their instrument.
At Inner West Institute of Music we are here to support all our students and parents, so if you’d like more information, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org.