Home CLASSROOM IDEAS How To Encourage Kids To Learn A Musical Instrument

How To Encourage Kids To Learn A Musical Instrument

Many children learn a musical instrument growing up. While learning to play an instrument is a joy in and of itself, the benefits far exceed just that skill. Two studies from the Brain and Creativity institute at USC show that just two years of music lessons improves cognitive engagement, improving a person’s ability to make decisions and focus attention.

Just because there are benefits though, doesn’t mean a child will naturally want to learn an instrument. These are a few suggestions to help kids enjoy learning an instrument.

Let Them Have Control

If you tell your child to play an instrument, they may not be as interested. However, explore music as an opportunity and let them take charge to a certain extent. For example, kids often have an idea of what instrument they want to play. Sure, the drums may not be the first instrument that a parent wants to hear but if it gets them excited, then it’s well worth exploring. Often when they see a music teacher for the first time, they’ll also get the chance to try out a few different instruments. Encourage exploration even if they end up with an instrument that’s not your favorite.

Use Technology

While having a teacher is great, many children enjoy learning on their own as well. There are great tools such as a guitar learning app which can be handy to teach kids correct fingering techniques and other technical skills. Not only do these apps encourage learning on a regular basis, they’ll also be encouraging when your child is practicing on their own. Let them use technology when it comes to their music as this will be motivating for them.

helping kids learn a musical instrument

Plan Performances

Kids often get more excited about taking on a project or skill when they have benchmarks in place. Performances and recitals are used as a way to get kids excited about playing and learning. Performances can be done through a music program as they often have recitals throughout the year. If this isn’t an option, consider having a recital for close family and friends. This can be as simple as a single song, a duet with a friend, or a larger group. Ask a music teacher for a recital schedule or ideas if they aren’t already built into the lessons.

Let Them Choose Music

As many parents know, the music that you learn to play an instrument with often isn’t very exciting. While many people enjoy the technical challenges and simple pieces, kids may be more motivated to learn an instrument when they get to play some of their favorite songs. The good news is that these songbooks are typically available for most instruments and skill levels. Allow them to choose and learn some of their favorites. They’ll be much more motivated to stick with an instrument when it’s a fun process.

Finally, celebrate their accomplishments throughout the process. Learning how to play a new instrument is a challenge and having encouragement throughout the process keeps them motivated.

How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins

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Jennifer Albert is a former child therapist turned passionate freelance writer. She especially loves writing about children's rights and education. When not working she loves walking her dogs and painting.

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