Does your child show an interest in music? Maybe they love singing along with the radio, or drumming rhythms on the table. Cultivating this love of music will benefit them for a lifetime. Studies have shown that learning to play an instrument can improve memory and concentration, teach patience and discipline, offer a creative and emotional outlet, and even contribute to future academic success.
When it comes to encouraging musical interest in kids, there are three main steps you should take.
- Make Music Important
The first step to cultivating your child’s interest in music is to integrate it into their daily lives. Try playing music in the house or listening to the radio in the car, and expose your kids to different genres, from classical to classic rock! Another great way to spark their interest is to take them to live music events. Many local organizations host family-friendly music events at parks, libraries, and more. Or, try attending a performance at your local high school, such as a musical or a band concert. Seeing what older students have achieved may inspire your children to do the same! Finally, consider taking your kids to a night at the symphony or ballet as a special treat.
Remember that your own enthusiasm for music is key here – if your child sees that music is important to you, it will be important to them as well. You can even take lessons alongside your child as a way to bond over music, and to encourage them when they get frustrated.
- Get an Instrument (or Several)
If you want your child to learn to play an instrument, having one accessible to them at home will help to cultivate an interest. Don’t feel as if you need to invest in a quality instrument just yet – for toddlers and young children, musical toys are more than sufficient to spark musical curiosity. Give your children access to a variety of drums, keyboards, recorders, or even small guitars, and allow them to play, explore, and experiment with a variety of sounds.
Older children will benefit from exploring a variety of instruments too. We recommend starting with piano lessons or children’s choir so that they learn to read music and have a strong musical background by the time they are old enough to join their school’s band or orchestra. Most school programs encourage students to try out different instruments. You can also try visiting your local music shop with your child. Ask the employees there to demonstrate different instruments to see which ones excite your child the most!
- Think Long Term
One of the best parts about a musical education is that it never truly stops – there is always more to learn and explore! With that in mind, you’ll need to think about long term musical goals for your children as well as short term. This means investing in music classes and private lessons, both to further their technique and to expose them to instructors and peers who share their passion for music!
It’s also important to sustain an ongoing interest in music, which means encouraging your kids when they get frustrated and not letting them give up when things get challenging. At the same time, however, being too forceful can be detrimental. Just because your child is learning music doesn’t mean they can’t explore other interests simultaneously, such as sports and other extracurriculars. Even if your child ends up focusing on a different activity as they grow, they will always be grateful for their exposure to music!
If you’re trying to encourage your child’s love of music, consider these three steps, and call the Powell Academy of Music. Our instructors are here to help show your child how amazing music can be, as well as all the benefits that come with learning to play an instrument. Call us today!