Few things are more frustrating than investing your time and money in an instrument and lessons for your child only to hear weeks later that they’ve changed their mind and don’t want to continue. Although you’re frustrated and you want your kid to get the many advantages that music lessons have to offer, you also don’t want to turn your home into a battleground. What’s a parent to do?
If your child tells you that they don’t want to continue with music lessons or if you sense that their motivation is slipping, you can take action. Read on to find out what you can do to keep your kid committed to learning music!
Ask Why, and Really Listen
The most important thing you can do is really listen to what’s happening in your child’s life that is making them want to quit. Do they feel shy or insecure about learning something new? Are they frustrated because learning music is more work than they thought? Let your child know that it’s totally normal to feel nervous about trying a new activity and learning takes time. Share with them a time when you felt nervous or frustrated with something but you persevered and eventually succeeded.
Put it on the Calendar
Sit down with a calendar and write down all of your child’s activities. If the calendar starts to look more like it belongs to a busy executive than a third grader, your kid is probably feeling overwhelmed and over-scheduled! If music is important to your child but stress is making them want to quit to get some free time, look at other activities and see if there is anything else that can be cut out.
Talk to their Teacher
Everybody has different inherent strengths that come into play when learning music. Maybe your child is frustrated with the piano because they’re a natural drummer or a shy singer who would love to pick up a guitar. Talk with your child’s teacher to see what their honest feedback is about your child’s musical strengths and weaknesses. Switching instruments or going from an instrument to vocal lessons (or vice versa!) can help keep your kid involved in music in a way that is better suited to their learning style and personality.
Try a Different Method
If your child is having a hard time with the pacing of group music lessons, get him or her involved in private, one-on-one music lessons. Ask your child how they feel about their teacher. If their teacher’s approach or personality isn’t the best fit for helping your child succeed, don’t feel bad about trying out lessons with a different instructor!
Set a Goal
Whether it’s learning a favorite song or preparing for a performance, help your child pick a goal and show them how continuing lessons will help them reach it. When kids see that their hard work and practice is going toward a tangible achievement, they usually feel more excited and determined to continue.
Parents, how do you keep your kids interested in music lessons? Share your stories and advice in the comments!
Photo by CProppe