Playing a musical instrument is a fun and exciting journey that many kids embark on. They have the desire to improve and become skilled musicians. However, parents need to understand that forcing children to practice music can lead to significant challenges. Instead of pressuring them, it’s important to be patient, offer positive reinforcement, and encourage their passion for music.
Why Parents Pressure Their Kids to Practice Music
As a music school, we frequently encounter parents who have high expectations and push their children to practice music incessantly.
There are several reasons behind this pressure, such as the financial investment in lessons, the desire to showcase their child’s talent to others, or simply wanting to motivate and support their child’s growth.
However, we have learned from over 15 years of experience that enforcing practice through pressure does not yield positive results. Instead, it is crucial to become the child’s biggest supporter by employing positive reinforcement and incentives.
Children thrive when they feel in control of their lives, and pressuring them produces unfavorable outcomes. Finding a teacher who aligns with your child’s enthusiasm and shares their expertise is important, as this will encourage independent practice.
For example, Joey has been taking private lessons with Mr. Wes since he was six years old! Joey finds that Mr. Wes is supportive and makes practice manageable and fun. Ultimately, pressuring your child to practice music can drain the joy of learning a new skill that should be a hobby, making playing an instrument feel like a chore rather than a genuine passion.
It is vital to nurture their excitement and avoid any forceful situations. While you undoubtedly want your child to excel in playing their instrument, it’s important to recognize that remarkable results can be achieved through a positive approach.
What to Do If Your Child Doesn’t Want to Practice Music
It’s not uncommon for parents to express their frustration by saying, “I’m spending all this money for you to learn an instrument, but you never practice”! When faced with a child who lacks interest in practicing, it’s important to foster open communication and understand their perspective.
There could be valid reasons behind their lack of motivation. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to learn a new skill? It can be frustrating at times, but the key is to support your child emotionally and prevent them from getting burned out by excessive practice.
It’s alright to suggest to your child, “Let’s practice music for just 10 minutes, and if you encounter any difficulties, we can take note of them and inform your music teacher during the next class”. Breaking down practice sessions into smaller, manageable portions is often less overwhelming. Additionally, offering incentives can help maintain their interest. Explaining the long-term benefits can also serve as a great motivator.
The Importance of Breaks
The suggested time frame may have elapsed, and your child is now feeling overwhelmed or bored. It’s important to remember that there are numerous foundational skills to master before your child can freely play their instrument.
Sometimes, the initial steps before the “fun” part can be less than thrilling. Allowing for breaks can help them regain their motivation and enthusiasm. Try putting yourself in your child’s shoes and acknowledging that there will always be moments when they feel bored, tired, or simply want to do something else. By making practice sessions exciting, and enjoyable, and recognizing when to take breaks, you can make a significant difference.