Helpful Suggestions for Parents of Instrumental Students

  • In making it possible for your child to play a musical instrument, you are providing the opportunity for self-expression, creativity, and achievement. Numerous studies indicate
    that parental attitude, support and involvement are important factors in a child’s ability to successfully learn to play and to enjoy music.

    How you fit in: Always keep in mind that your support is a key element in your child’s success. Schedule practice times-Musical achievement requires effort over a period of time. You can help by:

    • Providing a quiet place in which to practice
    • Remaining nearby during practice times as often as possible
    • Scheduling a consistent, daily time for practice
    • Praising your child’s efforts and achievements

    What to do: To give your child the best possible support, you should:

    • Encourage your child to play for family and friends
    • Expose your child to a wide variety of music, including concerts and recitals
    • Encourage your child to talk with you about his or her lessons.
    • Make sure your child’s instrument is always in good working order.
    • Allow your child to play many types of music, not just study pieces
    • Listen to your child’s practice, and acknowledge improvement.
    • Help your child build a personal music library.
    • Try to get your child to make a minimum two-year commitment to his or her music studies.

    What not to do: Your child’s progress will be greatly enhanced if you:

    • Don’t use practice as a punishment.
    • Don’t insist your child play for others when they don’t want to.
    • Don’t ridicule or make fun of mistakes or less than perfect playing
    • Don’t apologize to others for your child’s weak performance.
    • Don’t start your child on an instrument that’s in poor working order or condition
    • Don’t expect rapid progress and development in the beginning

    If your child loses interest: In the event your child loses interest in his or her music studies, don’t panic:

    • Discuss the situation with your child to determine why their interest is declining.
    • Talk to your child’s music teacher to see what might be done to rekindle their enthusiasm.
    • Encourage your child to stick with lessons for an agreed period of time.
    • Offer increased enthusiasm and support.