Kitchen Chat and more…
Kitchen Chat and more…
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.
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.
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!
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!
Every parent wants to put their child in the best position to succeed. In music, this means including private music lessons into your child’s practice and learning. There are many differences between group and 1-on-1 classes that can help expand abilities quickly and lead to better instrument mastery. Here are the top three reasons private music lessons are beneficial for your child learning to play an instrument.
That’s right, the privacy of a 1-on-1 lesson is extremely beneficial to your child’s learning. The instructor is without distraction and can watch and listen to your child carefully, picking up on every trouble spot. This allows the instructor to fine tune the lessons to improve your child’s playing.
The privacy of 1-on-1 instruction also allows the instructor more time to delve into music theory and help improve additional abilities like sight reading. This can lead to opportunities for composing music—a skill not often taught in group classes.
In group lessons, kids perform drills or repeat sections of music to practice a particular fingering or breathing technique. Since the class can only move on once each student has learned the skill, your quick learner may progress more slowly through the curriculum. On the other hand, instructors may need to move forward with the class before your child has truly mastered the technique or skill.
Private lessons allow for a personalized pacing to learning. More lesson time may be spent on practicing a certain trouble section and the parts your child plays well may only be reviewed a couple of times. Your child is in full control of the pacing of their lessons and the advancement of their overall progress toward mastery.
Not only does your child control the pacing of the lessons, they also control the curriculum. Practice time during lessons is spent on the exact things your child needs to work on. They will also receive a personal lesson plan for at-home practice that further enhances their skills and works directly on their trouble spots.
Private lessons also motivate students to practice at home more. Why? Because there is no hiding their lack of progress in the group. Being the only person at a private lesson puts them “on the spot.” Instructors act as accountability partners, encouraging your child to improve through regular practice.
Private lessons have many benefits, but it is true that some kids thrive better in group settings. Children who are extremely social or who thrive on the friendly competition between peers are well suited for group lessons.
However, to truly advance musical ability, private lessons are invaluable. If your child is just starting out or perhaps has been in a group setting for a while now, it’s time for private music lessons. Call the Powell Music Academy today to schedule your child’s first lesson or use our handy online registration for booking. See you soon!
Whenever kids are learning a new activity or skill, it’s common for them to hit some roadblocks along the way. Learning to play the piano comes along with its own set of challenges, but they can be overcome! Below are our suggestions for how to help your children leap over three common obstacles in piano lessons, and to improve their skills as students and musicians.
Attitude is an incredibly important part of learning, and it’s no exaggeration to say that a positive mindset can be the difference between failure and success. It’s not uncommon for piano students to lose confidence from time to time, whether due to a specific instance, like a poor performance, or to ongoing frustrations from lack of improvement. Kids might also compare their piano playing to that of more advanced students, which can lead to further discouragement.
If you notice your young pianist is developing a negative or unhealthy mindset, you can help to build up their confidence and determination. It might help to remind them of all the progress they’ve already made since they first began private lessons. For instance, if a performance didn’t go as well as they had hoped, remind them that there was a time that they couldn’t imagine being skilled enough to even perform in the first place! You can also remind them that even the most advanced pianists were once at their level, and that they had to overcome similar challenges (one example is Vladimir Horowitz, who overcame years of intense stage fright to become one of the greatest concert pianists in history!). Remind them that setbacks are only temporary, and soon your piano student will have their confidence back!
Practice is perhaps the biggest obstacle kids face in learning to play piano. Kids today are busy, and it can be hard to find the time to practice piano while in the middle of homework and other activities. More often, though, there is simply a lack of motivation to practice. Without adequate focus or clear goals, practice time is frustrating and unproductive. However, it is impossible to become a skilled pianist without practice, so it’s important to have a plan to overcome these obstacles!
Practicing piano effectively is all about creating a routine. Schedule a regular time for your kids to practice piano – you might even try writing it on the family calendar! Set a specific amount of time for each practice session – knowing they only need to practice for twenty minutes can help kids feel less pressure, and can help them learn to manage the time effectively.
Motivation is also key in practicing piano. Try creating a system of rewards – for instance, ten extra minutes of video games for each half hour of focused piano practice. You can also set longer-term goals, such as a trip to the movies for mastering a song or performing in a recital.
The best way for a child to learn piano is through lessons, however, not every teaching method works for every student. If your student feels stuck, talk to their music teacher about switching up the structure of their lessons, whether that means using a different curriculum or letting the student choose music that interests them, like pop or Broadway songs. Motivational programs, such as the Powell Academy of Music’s Level Up program, can be very helpful in inspiring students to progress in their lessons by presenting them with clear goals and rewards. Finally, some piano students simply will work better with one instructor than another. Most piano instructors understand this and can help refer you to another teacher if need be!
Every new piano player, especially kids, will experience some or all of these obstacles during
their musical journey, and overcoming them will take decisive effort and patience, from students and parents. Remember that support and encouragement through lessons and practice can go a long way toward getting your young piano player to love their instrument!
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