Last time I posted I mentioned that parental involvement is very important in the long term love of music for children. I also promised an expansion on the information - specifically the key component to having your child enjoy making music for a lifetime.
The most important aspect - not the only important aspect - but the most important is to make sure that your children visit their music lessons regularly. In Kindermusik it means doing the home activities together each week. As children move away from Kindermusik to private lessons, the practise becomes even more important than it was in Kindermusik for the Young Child.
In private music lessons, it is making sure that they practise...ideally 5 or 6 days a week. While it would be excellent if children didn't need prompting or supervision to practise, the reality is most students, left to their own monitoring, won't practise enough to be effective. That's where a parent's help comes in. Making out a schedule of practise is the best way to go as it alleviates the need for daily discussions about whether it's a practise day or not.
Why is it essential? At first, concepts in a music class can be understood intellectually quite quickly. But in a short amount of time, concepts prove too challenging for fingers to do adequately without repetition. The repetition of doing a moderate amount over several days solidifies muscle memory, making passages easier to master. Although students may resist the discipline of daily practsie, ultimately it becomes its own reward as students progress at a satisfying rate, being able to play music that is both engaging and culturally relevant. Students who don't practise sufficiently get bored with having the same songs assigned for several weeks, and feel frustrated in music classes when others are moving ahead without them.
I do know a thing or two about students who don't like practising...I was one.
Yes...I was a student who knew every trick in the book for pretending to practise when I wasn't.
I complained about practising.
I asked to quit my piano lessons more times than I can remember.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I alway loved music. I just hated practising.
I loved being able to play. The two concepts can co-exist.
So why did I stay in piano lessons? One easy answer.
My mother wouldn't let me quit. She tells me she saw talent that she didn't want me to waste.
And where would I be now if she would have let me?
I probably wouldn't know any of you.
Talk about a mother having an impact on the future!