Does your child’s interest in music seem to be fading compared to when they began taking lessons? Are your efforts to get them to practice becoming frustrating and mostly met with tears and tantrums?
Are you constantly looking for tips on how to musically motivate your child?
Music is a lifelong gift to your child. It has many benefits, including helping with brain development, enhancing academic achievement, and creating an empowering sense of personal enrichment.
However, children can easily get distracted, lose interest, stop practicing, or quit music altogether. Parents need to find different ways to nurture their children’s musical passion while keeping them motivated.
What affects children’s motivation to learn music?
Identifying what’s affecting your child’s lack of motivation is the first step towards finding a solution. Several factors can cause a child to lose interest in music, including:
- Lack of parental involvement: If children notice that their parents are too busy, often leaving them to practice alone or even fail to attend performances, they quickly lose interest.
- Expecting fast results: Learning music is a process that involves overcoming a lot of challenges. Your child might become frustrated, especially if hours of practice seem to yield no progress. Children can be very impatient and are quickly disappointed by slow progress.
- Discouragement from peers: At a young age, especially if your child is a teenager, they are influenced by their peers. If your child spends time with friends who have different interests, it can be easy for them to be discouraged from pursuing music.
- Being distracted or overly committed: Having too many activities on their plate can leave your child feeling tired, with no motivation to practice. Also, if your child lacks a specific space to practice and is constantly distracted by their siblings, TV, or friends, it can cause them to lose interest in practicing.
- Poor teachers: Teachers cultivate your child’s interest in music. If they don’t connect musically, or if your child ends up with a teacher who doesn’t nurture them and their passion for music, they can lose interest.
Tips on how to musically motivate your child
Use any of the following tips:
- Parental support and encouragement: More often than not, children are influenced by their parents’ values, attitudes, and beliefs. Therefore, remaining supportive and showing that you value music and see it as necessary will keep your child motivated.
So, what can you do to help?
Show up for rehearsals, concerts, performances, and all other music-related events. Also, share your love for music and encourage them to be curious about it and develop their passion for music.
Attend concerts with your child, especially those that allow them to see their instrument of choice played professionally in front of an interested and supportive audience.
- Find a good music teacher: A teacher can make or break your child’s experience with music. Good teachers not only teach, but they become friends, mentors, and role models to your child. Teachers cultivate your child’s relationship with music, and positive attitudes towards their teacher keep kids interested. If your child isn’t connecting with their current music teacher, don’t be afraid to try a new teacher.
- Encourage like-minded peer relationships: These relationships provide an excellent opportunity for kids to share their love of music with others, whether by forming a band or auditioning to join an orchestra. Peer relationships help children to build essential social and musical competencies.
- Create a practice routine: Did you know that consistency is key when developing a practice schedule?
It is vital to set aside time for practice each or every other day. Regular practice enhances musical achievement, hence a must-do.
Motivating Children Who Resist Practicing
Start by giving your child control.
For example, involve them in selecting a practice time that works for them. If they have lots of energy in the morning, make a commitment to scheduling practice earlier in the day. If your teen is more of a night owl, agree on a daily practice time that takes advantage of that!
- Set practice goals: Work with your child to set goals for each practice session, such as playing a series of bars without making mistakes.
Make a deliberate effort to celebrate goal achievement. Setting goals will challenge them, increase their excitement levels, and hold them accountable, ensuring that practice time feels productive.
- Praise efforts, not talent: Instead of focusing on the end results or the talent displayed, it is more effective to praise the efforts your child keeps putting in. Talk to your child about how the best musicians in the world found success through practice and dedication and not talent alone.
- Music selection: Find music your child likes because feeling connected with the music helps your child become fully invested in learning how to play.
- Keep it fun: The benefits of music are many, and it’s important to start young and keep it fun. Younger children enjoy singing and movement and freely engage in musical activities. An excellent early childhood program can help children move from play-based learning to more structured learning when ready.
For both younger and older kids, don’t make practice an obligation. Instead, make it a fun activity by incorporating games, activities, and challenges. Endeavor to create memorable experiences while making music.
- Encourage Your Student to Try a Variety of Instruments: Some students don’t ‘click’ right away with their first instrument and that’s no reason to be discouraged! A great benefit to taking music lessons at one of our schools is the opportunity to try out many different instruments. Taking lessons on different instruments not only exposes students to new teachers and ideas, but is a great way to build unique and varied musical skills and helps to prevent burnout. Especially at a young age, exposure to a variety of instruments can help build an incredible musical foundation. Learn how to choose an instrument that may be right for you or your child!
Children often get bored quickly, and their interest is likely to reduce with time. However, a parent’s consistent support and encouragement go a long way in keeping up motivation levels.
If your child starts showing a lack of motivation in music, ask yourself what you can do as a parent to curb this and use any of the above tips to help you musically motivate your child.
Take time to listen to your child’s concerns and help them find creative solutions. Recognize that musical success requires the engagement of both parents and students, and that your encouragement and support can go a long way! If you make your child aware of the long-term benefits of music and show how much you appreciate it, this can make a world of difference in your child’s experience.