Withdrawing from lessons and classes at Passion Academy is simple, but please consider these insights first…

Music Education and your Child

Your 10-year-old daughter decides she doesn’t want to take piano anymore after you’ve invested in years of lessons and the spring recital is right around the corner. Your 12-year-old son wants to quit the guitar but begs to take up the drums. And you’re wondering when is it right to push your child to press on or agree to let him quit?

While there’s no one answer that’s right for every child, there are several factors to consider regardless of your child’s activity. When your child begins an activity, create a supportive environment at home. This may help to keep her interest from lagging.

When it comes down to quitting or pressing on, the decision will depend on the child, her level of talent, the length of time she’s been involved in the activity and her reasons for wanting to quit.

Create the proper environment at home for your music student.

Musical children are not born — they are raised. It all begins by creating a musical environment at home by exposing them from an early age to different kinds of music. If you play a musical instrument yourself, let your child see you playing and express your love for music. Kids see what parents value. If music is a part of your life and you value it, they will see that.

Prepare in advance for the end of the honeymoon period.

For most children who start playing an instrument, there’s a honeymoon period when they are excited and anxious to play at every opportunity. Parents are often tricked into thinking their child loves the instrument, but actually it’s just a new toy to them. From the beginning, parents need to prepare for the time when their child is no longer in love with the instrument. They should not take the child’s interest for granted. They should set realistic goals, which should not be time-goals like ‘practice for a half-hour each day’ but rather music goals like ‘play four measures of this piece.’ If you wait to put goals in place as your child starts to lose interest, it may be too late.

To avoid nagging, set a regular practice time.

Having a set time for practice each day to avoid arguing with your child who might say, “I don’t feel like it now; I’ll do it later.” If your child knows that at 4 p.m. everyday she is supposed to practice, there will be less need to nag. It’s also OK to acknowledge that practice is not always a lot of fun. Music is not all fun. It’s hard work and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Don’t rely on the upcoming recital or performance as an incentive.

Reminding your child about the upcoming recital or performance doesn’t necessarily keep them engaged. That could be light-years away, as far as your child is concerned. It’s much better to have more immediate, easy-to-achieve performance goals. Organizing a mini-recital where your child can perform in front of a few family members and friends can be easy to arrange and becomes both a goal and a reward.

It’s OK to switch instruments or teachers.

Letting a child switch instruments is really smart as long as they aren’t switching every few months. They may discover their gifts and talents on the new instrument. Maybe they aren’t ‘clicking’ with their current teacher. Often times we find that students who lose interest thrive when they switch to another instrument and/or teacher.

If you’re convinced that withdrawing is necessary, please fill out the form below.

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