As long as I can remember, I have known how to play three basic chords on the guitar: C, G, and D. My dad is a musician and he made sure I had an instrument in my hands as soon as I could hold one properly. I’m grown up now and my dad lives on the other side of the country, but I still feel closer to him when I get out the old acoustic guitar he gave me and play the songs he taught me to play. The time I spent with my dad playing music will always be special to me and our shared love of playing music gives us a never-ending topic for conversation.
Not every parent has the musical knowledge to teach me as my dad did, but any parent can learn to play alongside their child. Sharing a hobby like playing a musical instrument is a wonderful way for parents to bond with their children. Learning alongside your child has other great benefits too!
If you’re not a musician yourself, you might not know how to help your kid get the most out of lessons. Taking lessons yourself will give you a better idea of all that goes into learning music, from making time to practice to finding ways to stay motivated. You will also understand better what your child is going through if they encounter roadblocks or sharp learning curves in their lessons. Having this insight into your child’s experience will help you to be more engaged and better equipped to guide your child to success.
Speaking of motivation, you and your child can help each other stay motivated to practice, and practicing regularly between lessons makes an enormous impact on your progress. Hold each other accountable in a playful way. For example, compete to see who can practice the most or agree to have an ice cream cone or other special treat together once a week if you both practice every day. You might even find yourself practicing difficult pieces or techniques with your child. Don’t be surprised if your kid learns faster than you and you have to ask the little one for help! Children’s brains are wired to learn new skills faster than adults.
If you sometimes feel more like your child’s chauffeur, maid, and personal chef, taking music lessons individually each week is a great way for you to carve out some time for yourself. There are advantages to learning music as an adult, and learning a new skill keeps you excited and curious about the world around you. Playing music is a great way to relax and express yourself. Take this time for yourself and you’ll feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to keep being a rocking mom or dad.
Are you a parent taking lessons with your child? Conversely, did you have a musical parent who helped you along the way as you learned to play? Let us know if you can relate in the comments!
–Megan L. TakeLessons Staff Member and Blogger
Photo by Gremionis