Teaching your child to play a musical instrument, or supporting them whilst they learn, can be one of the most rewarding experiences a parent can have; what could be better than the gift of music, or the pleasure that comes from learning a new skill? In addition, learning a musical instrument is important for your child’s development, teaching them valuable motor and sensory skills, as well as helping concentration, aiding communication, and being enormously enjoyable.
It’s a journey that the whole family can embark upon. Before my child began learning to play music I was very rusty myself, and certainly lacked the confidence I felt I needed to help him progress. Our new musical journey has increased our bond as parent and child, though, and actually given me certain assurances in my parenting skills that didn’t exist before. Of course, it won’t all be plain sailing; it can often be hard to justify the cost of purchasing an instrument, or investing in lessons, and it is sometimes difficult to motivate a child to give up even ten minutes of their TV time. However, your child’s musical adventure is something that you’ll want to treasure – go on this journey together, and enjoy.
I can play…
From the piano or keyboard, to violins, guitars, brass or wind instruments, or drums, there are so many instruments that your child may wish to pursue. Of course, there is absolutely no reason why your child shouldn’t pick up a different instrument entirely; you can nurture their love of music whatever instrument they show an interest in. The ukulele and ocarina, in particular, have seen a recent resurgence in popularity, and it will be enormously rewarding for you, as a parent, when those first notes begin to emerge – it doesn’t matter what noise the instrument is making!
Allowing your child to pick up a slightly more unusual instrument does throw up its own issues – just where do you buy an ocarina?! Luckily the Internet is a fantastic resource, and choosing the instrument together will allow you and your child to investigate, explore, and learn as you go. Plenty of shops, such as, http://www.songbirdocarina.com/ offer ocarinas for sale, as well as simple sheet music. Remember to start small and work towards more complex arrangements. You never know where you’ll end up.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
The most important thing to remember when teaching your child to play a musical instrument is not to be afraid to ask for help; learning music is supposed to be fun, not stressful. If things start to get tough seek advice, rather than giving up – you’ll be surprised just how readily help is available, and your child will learn a valuable lesson in seeking assistance. Support can be found at your child’s school, from qualified music tutors, or even at music stores, from those who may have sold you that very first instrument. There are also numerous tutorials to be found online, which can help you overcome issues with arrangements, motivation, or even instrument maintenance.
If you’re struggling with getting started it’s a great idea to create a learning plan for your child. This will highlight the targets and goals that they have to work towards, whilst allowing you to map their learning journey, chart their progress, and let your little one see where they’re headed to next. Rewards along the way are also a fantastic idea; why not stage a concert or recital at particular stages during their learning, or record their progress to listen to together? This gives your child the opportunity to share their newly discovered musical skills with friends and family, and will allow them to see how far they, and you, have come.