Tips for Parents

To follow is advice for parents on the best mindset and attitude towards your child’s music training experience.

  • Focus on a long-term commitment. If you tell your child they can quit if they don’t like music lessons, once the novelty of lessons wears off and the hard work begins, they will quit. You must model the maturity of sticking with it for the long-term payoff.
  • Children do not make the best the decisions for themselves. It is your responsibility to model long-term decision making for them.
  • Demonstrate curiosity and empathy for your child.
  • False praise is phony. Children can tell.
  • Listen to all kinds of music. Have a healthy musical diet that is diverse.
  • You are also taking the lesson. This means that you practice daily with the child, learning the skills they are learning.
  • Being on time for the lesson sets an example for your child.
  • Make observations, not judgments. Good & bad are moral statements, not artistic qualities.
  • Read books on positive childrearing and positive music practice. I have compiled a list of resources here.
  • Music study is a long-term endeavor. Skills build slowly, over years, not weeks.
  • If your child is not self-motivated to practice, either practice with them or accept that lessons without practice is better than no musical training at all.
  • Replace the word “talent” with the word “grit”.
  • Be proud of your child’s accomplishments, but do not brag or exploit their abilities on social media. Keep the pride between you and your child. This will save your child from a lot of potential difficulties as they mature.
  • Do not force your child to “perform” for others. This exploits them for your own ego needs. If your child wishes to share their music with others, that is their decision.
  • Compassion, sensitivity, commitment, cooperation, and self-reliance in problem solving are the goals of music lessons.
  • Always be at your child’s music lesson. Be willing to assist the teacher.
  • Make sure your child is well rested for the lesson.
  • Be aware of your own “baggage” from your own life. If you had unpleasant experiences as a child with music lessons, process that experience for yourself. Don’t put the weight of your insecurities on your child’s shoulders.
  • Sigmund Freud observed that we can cast our demons from our garden, but they all come rushing back with the birth of our children! Be aware of this.
  • Music is not a competition. Focus your child’s mindset on being better than themselves yesterday, not being better than others.