Dad's Notes

Music Learning for Kids: 15 Things Parents Need to Know

When I decided that my daughter have music learning –piano in particular- for years ago and followed by her younger brother two years after, I was actually finding myself at a crossroad. While I was dreaming of my kids were to have musical skills on one hand, I had a big doubt if this would work out in upcoming years.

Sometimes, many parents think that talent and historical record of a family on a specific achievement are the determinant prerequisites for kids’ success in their learning. In fact, parents have no obligation to have a musical education background. And, children don’t have to be specially endowed with music talent. Everybody has the same opportunity to learn music.

That’s what I have learned and it gave me a confidence to keep firm in keeping an eye on my kids’ fingers dancing along with the notes.

I found a valuable enlightenment from the Suzuki Forum inspired by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese musician, philosopher, educator, and the inventor of the international Suzuki method of music education who developed a philosophy for educating people of all ages and abilities. He died in 1998 at the age of 100.

15 points shared in the forum reveal that parents have to take control of their children’s development in learning music. These points are definitely technical and practical, so parents have definite reasons to stay beside the children in daily practices and undertakings.

  1. Don’t easily change class schedule. Whether the schedule is held classically or privately one on one with the teacher, do the best to keep a self-control in the learning. Overwhelming school tasks or appointment with a friend for shopping are not the good reasons to change the schedule.
  2. Routine practice everyday, even just for 10 minutes. Direct kids to run through and gradually increase duration and quality of the practice.
  3. A practice doesn’t mean it’s to play a composition as a whole. In fact, it reveals playing repeatedly short parts needed to be kept under control before playing the whole arrangement well.
  4. Ensure kids to have appropriate music books at home. A bungled printout or copy of a composition is a definite reason to make kids indolent to practice.
  5. From a very first step, make sure that kids explore a new composition every week. If a composition remains standing still week by week, immediately find the cause and how to resolve it.
  6. Writing note names will leave nothing but wasting time. When needed, writing some guiding notes helps much. Writing all notes  is all the same as reading a sentence by spelling each letter.
  7. Class time is all at once the right moment to ask or discuss with the teacher, when needed. Don’t wait until your kid’s session is over since it will be the schedule of other students’, or the teacher has his/her personal schedule or appointment.
  8. Just because your kids won’t start practicing when you don’t instruct them to do so, it doesn’t mean they hate practicing or they don’t like playing music. It’s the same thing as reminding them of eating, brushing their teeth, taking a bath, and other daily routines. Sure thing, besides practicing music, parents must be keeping reminding their kids of doing many things all day long. It’s concerning the habitual forming as well.
  9. Think about long-term goals. If you have an intention that your kids learn music just for 6 months and then you hope they master it significantly, it will be something impossible. Just like hoping a mango tree will deliver its abundant fruits after being planted just for a couple of weeks.
  10. Learning music is easy, and difficult at once. Kids will find some things as pieces of cake, but on the other hand they may find it like a big hardship. It’s so normal. All they need is go through the process and do the best to conquer challenges.
  11. Own appropriate music instrument at home. It will be useless for our kids in learning music without that weapon at home. Take this the first thing to do. It’s much better to buy piano, guitar, drums, or violin prior to enrolling the music class.
  12. Take the opportunities to accompany kids at class. We can avail of what teacher has discussed for reminding and taking control of our kids at home. This relates to an efficient way to get an utmost result of the learning.
  13. Take part on any opportunities for performances. This will bolster self-confidence of our kids as well as a good lesson to appreciate their counterparts.
  14. Don’t believe in what internet says for 100%. Discussion and consultation with the teacher will give a smoother way than following tutorial or tips from the internet.
  15. Develop quality communication with the teacher. Whatever is to be applied onto the kids, parents and teacher should be in accordance and synergy.

I found these useful to be applied for the development of my kids’ music skills in the future. I believe, we are talking about character building as well.

A husband. A dad. A bank worker. Loves to share in writing about the art of being a dad for the kids.

8 Comments

  • Roland

    Great blog post. Though I don’t have any kids, I know some parents that do and their kids love music. This would be very helpful for them to know, especially for those kids just starting out.

  • Ethel Aoude

    I wonder to which age group this applies best. I have 3 year old and 5 year old who are showing interest in music and dancing (my 5 year old sayd he wants to practice and get trophy for dancing). But taking them to classes and follow the points and scheadule above sounds like way too much challenge. Not for the kids but to me who I would have to find time regularly taking them to practises and putting this to match with the work scheadule makes me want to give up in advance!

  • Silver Spoon

    Thank you for sharing your insights with us. I’ve recently attended a seminar that dealt with music and language acquisition. It’s so important to train kids in the musical department. So great that your kids already attend music classes.

  • Joleisa

    I love seeing kids excel in music but I am also aware from experience that it takes a lot on the parents’ part in terms of keeping the consistency with dates for practice etc. It can also be an expensive endeavour. But I think the discipline is good, as well as the income that can be made in later years from maybe those same children teaching others. Thanks so much for a very useful post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: