You, Your Child, and Music Lessons
Music lessons are the one thing that enhances more than any other activity. They develop the ear, eye, and the coordination.
The study of music brings to the individual enormous opportunities to develop a style for mastering learning. And this style should be transferable and useful to the child throughout life in learning all other skills, both cognitive and physical.
Music lessons aren't just playing music - they are giving skills to be able to play at home for the sheer love of it - skills for a lifetime of music!
HOW WE DEVELOP - ages 4 to 7 are the best for ear development. In music the ear is more important than the eye - think of a blind VS a deaf musician. We continue to encourage the musical development of the ear through adulthood. At ages 7 through 9 the cognitive ability and eye/hand coordination kicks in, and finger dexterity and technique improves. From here up to about age 12 everything develops at about the same rate, and the students can start to intellectualize, create, and self-motivate. After age 12 we can really start concentrating on motor skills and technique. The eye finishes developing around ages 18 to 20, so don't worry if music reading is slow - there is lots of time to develop this!
Children internalize even if it appears that they aren't listening in class. They are usually picking up enough to practice at home, and this is where it really matters!
IF PRACTICING IS A PROBLEM - remember that most kids won't willingly practice, and won't claim to like practicing. Here are some tips:
- Set aside a regularly scheduled time each day, and not when you're interrupting a favorite activity.
- Be encouraging & positive - not negative. Find something positive to say - "line 2 is good" or "I liked hearing you play today."
- Use motivation charts with stars or stickers, try a timer with a bell, or have your child play each song a certain number of times instead of a certain number of minutes.
The continual progress and long term development of a child is largely the parents' job. Parents who really want their child to develop musically and personally in some of the ways so many find rewarding must expect, of course, to make quite an investment in ways beyond just the financial. Time, energy, imagination, empathy, and good-natured common sense must be invested continually.
"THE OPENING PASSAGES OF MUSICAL TRAINING ARE NOT A SOLO PIECE. PARENT, CHILD, AND TEACHER MUST PLAY THEM TOGETHER."