Tips for Parents of Instrumental Students to Succeed with Instrumental Music

Help your child set up a special place at home to play the instrument. 

Establish a time each day to play. Some children are at their best learning in the morning. Some parents set a time when the child is relaxed, but not tired.

Consider using the phrase “playing time” rather than “practice time” (“go play your instrument” rather than “go practice”).

If possible, be a positive part of your child’s playing time. Sit with your child while he/she plays or be nearby. Ask questions like “show me/play for me what your learning.” Or consider learning to play the instrument alongside your child.

PRAISE your child for each step forward in progress.

NEVER make negative remarks about your child’s playing sounds. It takes time and effort to produce well-formed musical sounds.

Encourage other family members to applaud the child’s efforts. Positive attention is a great motivator!

Remember that there are always peaks and valleys in the learning process. You and your child should expect times alf discouragement. Accept them and focus on the positive fact that he/she is learning to make music. Remind him/her that everything worth doing takes time and effort.

Provide positive role models. Bring your child to hear amateur or professional musicians perform live. Show your child programs (PBS has a lot of recorded live performances running from opera to rock music) or rent movies that show musicians in a positive light.

GET LESSONS FOR YOUR CHILD. Music lessons are a necessary part of learning an instrument. Students can only get so far in school classes.

Don’t be afraid to discuss your needs with a lesson teacher. Most often, teachers will have TV and movie them sheet music or can write out bits and pieces that are appropriate to where the student is developmentally. Keep in mind that there a lot of things students WANT to play but are not ready to do (YET!).