Is your child excited about taking voice lessons — but ONLY wants to sing Taylor Swift or Bruno Mars? Read on as Pittsburgh, PA teacher Jennifer V. shares two secrets to introducing him or her to classical music without a fight…
Sometimes really cool things can get a reputation for being weird, boring, or even scary. Take classical music, for example. As parents, you might be thinking of enrolling your kids in classical voice lessons or constantly playing Beethoven at home because of everything you’ve heard about the benefits of learning music.
Unfortunately, many teachers (and parents) push classical songs on students without making it fun. Picture this: your child has a few voice lessons and everything is going swimmingly, then one day, she walks in the door with a big heavy book of foreign language songs and a look of panic in her eyes. Your heart sinks; you know that look. It’s the look that ended ballet lessons, and why the violin is in the attic with the tap shoes. The look plainly says, “I don’t wanna do this, I want to stop taking voice lessons.” So what do you do next?
First, don’t worry! Sometimes all it takes is sitting down with your child and looking at things from a different perspective. Music, after all, is a timeless way to not only enrich our children, but also connect with them!
Here are some tips to do just that:
Listen to the Music (oh yeah!)
Before lessons begin, take some time to listen to music that has pieces of classical and rock in them. Electric guitars that play with opera singers can be very cool to listen to! Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift can sound great with piano but they can also sound totally amazing with violin.
“Lacrymosa” by Evanescence is another great example, based on the Lacrimosa movement from Mozart’s Requiem. There are so many amazing examples when you really look and listen! Continue looking for songs like these to give your child a taste of classical songs.
Talk about the Tunes
After listening to music like this, try chatting about it! You don’t have to be a Puccini expert to do this. Ask questions like: “Wow, so what did you think of that guitar solo?” and “What if you were to add some drums in that part of song, how do you think that would sound?” Sometimes a few casual questions can lead to some really amazing conversations, and the idea of studying and singing classical songs won’t seem as archaic.
Listening and finding a way to relate classical music to your child’s interests can really make a huge difference. Active listening goes a long way in the classroom, but it also makes a huge difference when introducing a new activity.
If you haven’t signed up for singing lessons yet, go forth and give it a shot — find out how much Brahms and Bohemian Rhapsody can enrich your child’s life!
Jennifer V. teaches singing and music performance in Pittsburgh, PA. She received her Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University, a Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma from Duquesne University, as well as a Certificate of Contemporary Vocal Pedagogy from Shenandoah Universtiy. Learn more about Jennifer V. here!
Photo by Electric Images