10 Top Tips To Encourage Children To Practice Their Musical Instruments
A fun fact about the composer Mozart is that by the age of five he could read and write music, which enabled him to compose full symphonies at the age of just six years old. Not only did Mozart have a natural flair towards music, playing and creating it, but he had musical parents. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was composing throughout the 18th century and his history is possibly the greatest example of why it’s a good idea to encourage children to practice musical instruments.
Not only are there a great number of cognitive benefits for learning and practicing an instrument, but it can instill a sense of discipline and pride in young children that will hopefully follow them for the rest of their lives. Learning music and being able to play an instrument is an incredible talent that should be passed down through generations of children.
If you’re a parent that isn’t particularly musical, but you want to encourage children to practice musical instruments, there are a number of great resources online that you can use to educate and teach your child. At WeJam, we have previously looked at the best YouTube Channels For Music Education and Music Lessons For Beginners, so make sure to take a look at that blog here for our thoughts!
Today, we’re looking at the 10 Top Tips To Encourage Children To Practice Their Musical Instruments – so here we go!
1. Let Your Child Be In Control
Being a human being means sometimes having to do things you don’t necessarily want to do, but you know you have to. Like going to the end of year work event, even though you’ve spent all year sitting next to the work colleague that has annoyed you to no end, but this should be a lesson that comes later in life. In almost all aspects of their lives, children are told what to do by parents, teachers, older siblings and tutors. The music experience should be something they are the master and commander of. This is the best way to ensure their motivation and attention remains with the love of music. Your job to encourage children to practice musical instruments becomes a lot easier when the child wants to practice.
2. Help Your Child Understand The Benefits Of Learning An Instrument
It’s unfortunate that not every child will be in a position to be able to play an instrument, and that might not be a straightforward lesson for children to understand. Instead, encourage children to practice musical instruments because it will unlock many cognitive and physical benefits. For your quick science lesson of the day, it’s interesting to know that László Harmat, a behavioural scientist from Sweden, found that students who listened to classical music for around 45 minutes before bed slept better than those who didn’t. And who doesn’t love a bit of sleep!
3. Use Performances To Build Up Confidence
Introducing performances or competitions are a great way to introduce some competitiveness to their practice sessions. If you’re struggling to encourage children to practice musical instruments, then get them signed up for competitions (if they’re comfortable with the idea). Performing will give them the opportunity to showcase their talent and encourage them to express themselves through music.
4. Let Your Child Choose Their Instrument
When it comes time to encourage children to practice musical instruments, it might be best to leave your musical experience at the door. Their development is not the time to impose your childhood aspirations of music onto them - so if you played the piano as a child, don’t force your child to do the same. Take your child to the music store and let them hear the instruments; let your child see the instruments and try them out if it’s allowed. This experience is like a taste test which should help them understand which instrument they’d like to play because they were in control of selecting it.
5. You Have To Be Their Biggest Fan
Whatever the accomplishment is that your child has been working towards, be prepared to sing their praises at everything they do. This is the best way to encourage children to practice musical instruments because in those early stages, all they have is themselves and you to sing their praises. Your child will also be jumping at the chance to impress you with the new skill they have been practicing, and the encouragement will ensure they stay on their musical journey.
6. Ignite Your Child’s Curiosity For Music
A great anchor to use that will develop a curiosity for music in your child’s mind is getting them interested in the entire industry. The more your child knows about the music-making world, the more likely they are to develop a longer, deeper interest in the subject. Listen to music together, go and listen to live music whenever you can and break out the old karaoke machine from wherever you have it hidden. Children at young ages are sponges for experience and knowledge, so the best way to encourage children to practice musical instruments is to be musical around them!
7. Celebrate Every Accomplishment
Like any skill or career, the learning journey is full of highs and lows, which makes it especially important to encourage children to practice musical instruments through the big and small wins. Failure shouldn’t be portrayed as the end of the world to children as it can cause resentment towards the skill and the instrument. Use every opportunity to create a learning lesson and show your child that every moment is part of the journey to mastering their instrument.
8. Let Your Child Decide The Music They Play
Letting your child decide their music is on our list for the same reason that Letting Your Child Choose Their Instrument is on the list. If your child loses interest in the music, then this will most likely result in them not wanting to play altogether. Explore all the music you can with your child: create playlists together, host a jam session for them and figure out what kind of music they would like to play. Once they have landed on the right kind of music they want to play, it’s important to note that as your child is still developing, their music taste may change. So parents, be prepared to replace their piano with a drum kit in those teen years!
9. Find The Right Teacher For Your Child
If we’re being perfectly honest, we can’t always be there to see our children practicing their talents, and sometimes we need a professional teacher to help them along the way. The practice during lessons is just as important as the practice outside of lessons and having a healthy balance of the two will encourage children to practice musical instruments. Additionally, the best teachers are the ones that encourage and critique your child. Especially during the early development stages of childhood. And as their musical journey gets underway, it’s integral to be fully supportive of their efforts, which should maintain a good level of motivation.
9. Most Of All – Make Practicing Fun!
Topping off our list should be something that is no surprise to anyone - who wants practicing to be boring when it can be super fun! Breaking up the practice sessions with fun activities, challenges and getting out of the “classroom” are great ways to get your child excited for music and to encourage children to practice musical instruments. Not every practice session should be spent repeating the same chord until it’s perfect or endlessly revising sheets of music – think outside the box and get creative with lessons, which will excite your child and have them looking forward to those music lessons!
Looking For An Immersive, Live Music Jamming Session To Take Your Children To?
At WeJam, we have carefully put together this list to combine all the elements that make learning an instrument fun, engaging and rewarding. Ultimately, we firmly believe that the best way to encourage children to practice musical instruments is to play within a band. The explosive mix of communication, creativity and collaboration is second to none. But, how could you possibly get a band together during COVID-19 to practice that? Well, at WeJam we have the answer.
Our COVID-19 compliant jamming sessions allow for groups between three and six people to engage in an immersive, live experience where everyone gets to participate regardless of their musical experience. Take a look at our plans today and book your place to experience what it would be like to be part of a world-class rock band!