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Music Education Matters in Children

From Story Time with Leny Grott:

Music is an important part of every child’s development. A great song can often light up their eyes, inspire them to move around and dance, and even help them with their sense of confidence.  And it doesn’t end there.

The elements of music education require focus and foster self-expression.  Children will also learn to:

  • Understand and use symbols in new contexts
  • Discover the power, precision, and control of mathematics in unexpected ways
  • Find and direct personal creativity
  • Exercise diverse skills of problem-solving
  • Experience the joy of self-expression
  • Learn self-discipline

The roll of the caregiver

Children enjoy playing instruments but they are usually busy with other activities and don’t have the self-discipline required to practice on their own. Parents can make a huge impact by including themselves to ensure that quality practice happens on a regular basis.  This means positively encouraging, reminding, and helping a child to stay on track, and most importantly, paying attention to what’s happening during practice time.

The teacher’s focus is to guide their student in how to practice, and parents who encourage regular practice at home play a vital role in the learning process and progress.

On a personal note, when our daughters started playing the violin, the sound of the instrument was not really pleasant, but our job as parents was to encourage them, not to make them feel badly by telling them how awful the sound was or asking them to go practice in another room away from us. With time and practice, they were able to play short songs that have lately become beautiful melodies.  Now they are 9 and 6 years old and absolutely love playing violin, one of them say it relaxes her and makes her feel like she is in another world.

Ways to help

  • Set up a consistent practice schedule based off of family time. This way the child knows exactly when to practice each day.
  • For younger children, practice charts with stickers can go a long way in motivating and making the practice experience more exciting.
  •  Parents should get involved during practice time and take the initiative to make themselves aware of the assignments, show interest, and praise their children for progress.  These can make all the difference in the world.
  • Set up weekly or monthly performances for the family or whomever happens to be in the house that day. From week to week, or month to month, little performances can highlight musical accomplishments and can also help students overcome stage fright for future recitals and performances.
  • Communicating about lessons using a simple notebook or binder. The benefits of knowing where to locate music materials, being able to easily refer to lesson notes, refresh the mind about prior assignments, and be reminded of progress and accomplishments are key to a positive practice time.

In conclusion, parental involvement, support, and encouragement are essential in guiding children as they build good habits and develop skills like time management and organization.

These skills will likely cross over into other areas such as doing homework, participating in sports, and doing chores around the house.

Parents who openly communicate with the music teacher, help their children to set up practice schedules and get organized, it can make a powerful and positive difference in the progress of their children. This support will help children reach their maximum musical potential and find joy in their musical journey.

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