10 SECRETS FOR EVERY MUSIC PARENT

Being a music parent from a non-musical background is a difficult job. Your child thinks, talks and performs a language that you don’t understand. But this doesn’t need to hold you back from your full-time job–parenting! Here are 10 ways you can help your kid in his/her journey of learning music:

Mother and daughter listening to music together using headphones
Mom listening to her daughter play piano
parent talking to her child
mother and daughter holding hands and walking to class

1. Accompany to Classes Regularly

Regularly doesn’t not mean every class, but definitely at regular intervals. The students see their teacher once a week, but they see you everyday. If you attend their music lessons often, they will feel they are answerable to you as well. They will also open up and talk to you as they will realise that you are in a position to understand what they are saying. Consciously or subconsciously, they will also understand that you are making an effort and feel closer and more comfortable talking to you about their classes an

2. Communicate with the Teacher

Learning music is a long, unpredictable and subjective journey where the teacher becomes your compass. Talk to the teacher about how your child is doing and understand the goals that they are aiming for. The teacher will be able to help you out with how much your child needs to practice, what they need to focus on, which habits they need to correct and much more. It is extremely important to build a good rapport with the teacher and be able to believe that s/he has the students best interest at heart.

3. Communicate with your Child

Your child will often not come and talk to you about their classes, especially if they had an underwhelming or dis-satisfactory experience. But make sure to ask them how their class went and then talk to them about it. Being asked about the lessons definitely acts as passive motivation for the students.

4. Fix Practice Time

It is the general belief that since this is not academia, if a student is interested in learning, they should be responsible for their practice. But this is not how it works. Think about it as ensuring that the child does their homework before going to school the next day. If left on their own, more often than not, the child tries to delay finishing up their homework till the last moment. They do the same with music practice. The difference with music is that since the classes are mostly once a week, they end up practicing only on the last day. This doesn’t give them enough practice, they lag behind in class and it leads to further demotivation. Fixing practice time is a great way to help your child. Just before lunch, just after homework, just before playing or any such relation to a permanent activity they partake in everyday. It is essential to help them make practice a part of their daily life.

5. Hear the Student Perform

Willingness, self belief and motivation are some of the most important pillars of music education. Your state of mind defines whether or not there is a chance that you will perform well. To encourage your child, hear them perform. Praise them, this will inspire them to keep going and assure them that they are on the right track. Give them constructive criticism, this will help push them to improve and be better.

6. Do Not Compare

Regularly doesn’t not mean every class, but definitely at regular intervals. The students see their teacher onDo not compare their musical journey with anyone else’s. Learning music is highly subjective. Some may be slower than others, some may be less enthusiastic than others but that doesn’t mean that one should give up. Comparisons can be highly demoralizing. Learning music seems simpler on paper than it actually is. It may not look it, but more often than not, they will already be comparing themselves to others and getting disheartened. You must accept and give them space to grow their music at their own pacece a week, but they see you everyday. If you attend their music lessons often, they will feel they are answerable to you as well. They will also open up and talk to you as they will realise that you are in a position to understand what they are saying. Consciously or subconsciously, they will also understand that you are making an effort and feel closer and more comfortable talking to you about their classes an

7. Set Goals

Learning music doesn’t happen overnight. It is a long entangled graph with  plethora of ups and downs. First, you have to understand the bigger picture, what you want to accomplish with your child’s music education. This doesn’t need to happen immediately, but knowing your options is a good way to start. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, discuss with their music teacher and decide some short and long term goals. It is important for the student to understand what they are aiming towards. Although the main goals will be long term, set some short term goals to mark the stepping stones.

8. Do Not Make Excuses

Making excuses can be a slippery slope. In my experience, there is always time to practice. They may not be able to practice as much as they should on some days, but they can always practice! If you enable the child to make excuses to the teacher, this can become a regular feature. Help them ensure that they practice, and if they don’t, let them own up to it, so they remember the feeling the next time it happens.

9. Celebrate Achievements

Whether it is performing their first piece, completing their first year, taking their first exam or their first recital, it is important to celebrate the student’s milestones. Celebrating achievements helps get the students excited for all the future coups to come. A happy mind will make the difficult parts of learning enjoyable and zestful!

10. Make them Listen to Music

This is the most fun part of being a music parent as well as a music student, listening to as much music as you can. Your child must listen to the repertoire they are working on for direct inspiration. But not only that, they should listen to more music of the entire genre they perform. It is also extremely important for them to listen to music outside their genre. This helps them grow and discover themselves. Their calling may lie with a style of music they haven’t even heard yet. I just can not emphasise this enough! They will not know what they like or dislike, what is good or bad unless they know what is out there! We all like to live in our comfort zone and listen to music that we know we like, as music parents, you can play a very important role to ensure that your child gets the exposure they need!