Not many aspects of child education can benefit your child in such a way as musical proficiency. Musical ability has been found to be a major contributor to several different cognitive abilities. Children with extensive musical education score better across all aspects of testing. However, not all children are equally interested or capable. Getting your children to embrace a musical instrument isn’t always easy. Don’t stress though, there are several things you can do to improve your child’s love of playing music. Continue reading below to learn how to encourage your child in playing an instrument.
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How to Encourage Your Child in Playing an Instrument
Foster A Love Of Music In General
A house of music enthusiasts will create musically-inclined children. And your love and passion for music are contagious. Be sure to share that with your children to create an environment of love and respect for music and instrumentation.
If you or family friends play an instrument, be sure to expose your child to that as much as possible. When they play with the instrument themselves, be sure to get excited and tell them how good they’re doing, even if it sounds like a cacophony. That will make it fun and begin the process of building their confidence with music and playing.
Make It Fun
The biggest flaw in the traditional parenting technique is being too strict. And being forced to do anything only makes people withdraw. It’s much better to provide a variety of different musical activities for a little bit of time each day.
Providing a variety of different instruments and activities not only keeps it fresh, but also helps you and your child discover their inherent abilities. It will also allow them to find what it is that they enjoy about music.
Encourage Exploration Of Sounds And Objects
Exploration is what children are wired to do. With enough patience and opportunity, you don’t have to do anything as a parent but expose your child to the possibilities.
With music, there are many ways to do that. One of the best ways to get started is to let them handle a variety of beginner instruments. There are several beginner instruments that you should expose your child to. A wooden flute is one of the best instruments to introduce your child to because it’s easy to play and sounds great. You could also get them a xylophone or child’s guitar. Percussion is always a great choice as well.
However, make sure you don’t put too many expectations on them at this point. Just provide the environment and let nature take its course.
Reward Your Child, Positive Reinforcement Is Key
In line with the idea of keeping it fun, make sure you’re using as much positive reinforcement as possible while avoiding negative reinforcement whenever you can.
For those who are unfamiliar, positive reinforcement means rewarding your child with praise and external rewards (like candy or playtime) when they do a good job. That is to say that you should focus on the positive and be sure to let them know when they do it right.
On the other hand, negative reinforcement is the type of conditioning that most of us are most familiar with. This is the kind of behavioral modification that relies on saying no and scolding. With this type of reinforcement, a child learns what not to do. While negative reinforcement is an important part of every child’s development, too much has detrimental effects on growth and development. An excess of negative reinforcement because indistinguishable from abuse.
Of course, in reality, both of these methods will be used and a balance must be found. However, it’s never fun to be told no a thousand times and to be yelled at. So be sure to control the situation and if your child is misbehaving, stop the activity for the time being and come back to it later when the situation is more suitable to their mood and temperament.
This technique may take a bit of practice for many, but it pays off big time. Not only because of faster progress, but because of the healthier parent-child relationship it engenders. For more tips on positive reinforcement and parenting, you can check out these tips for child behavior.
Give Them Options
Children get bored easily sometimes and having a card up your sleeve is a great way to keep music time fresh. Give them plenty of options and let them play around with as many instruments as you can provide.
One of the biggest errors parents make when encouraging their child’s musical development is forcing their own desires and will onto their child. Many parents have a clear idea of the instrument and style of music they want their child to play. While that’s to be expected to some extent, forcing your child to play what you want and when you want it is a surefire way to turn them off to instrumentation forever.
Instead, hold on to your aspirations and don’t let them be known until later. At this point, developing a lifelong habit of music appreciation is the best way to ensure that your end goal is met. After your child develops an earnest passion for music it’s much easier to sway them and compromise with them to reach your end. Even if that means letting them play their own favorite instrument in return for mastering the instrument of your choice.
Anyways, the best musicians can play multiple instruments. And the diverse musical skillsets that come with a variety of different instruments are what is required to foster genius-level musical ability later in life.
Along with percussion, singing is the fundamental musical ability of people. It’s also a great and fun way to bring the whole family together in a joyous and rewarding way. It’s also a form of musical practice and development that is available to everyone at any time without the need for any equipment. Families that sing introduce their children to music at earlier ages and with more frequency. It’s also a great way to introduce them to the enjoyment of music.
Cut The Pressure And Boost The Payoff
Parents often put too much pressure on their children and doing that rarely turns out the way you think it will. That’s because children are people just like you. If they always feel pressured to perform and to produce results, the joy of music will be lost to the constant stress and fear that comes with trying to fulfill the wishes and dreams of other people.
Encouraging Childhood Development Is A Tightrope Walk
As most parents can attest, it can be very difficult to get your children to embrace the things you want. If you push too hard, they will pull back and develop a distaste for whatever you’re encouraging. If you don’t do enough, they won’t develop at all musically save the chance that your child is naturally interested and inclined.
Instead of using a heavy hand, provide a musical environment at home and school to show your child that music instrumentation is just a fact of life. When exposed in that way, your child will have no option but to embrace the world around them.