Why Parents Should Learn an Instrument with their Children
by Rhiannon Nachbaur of Award-Winning Fiddleheads Violin Studio
Fall is when children return to school, meet new friends, and take on new challenges. Adults can enjoy this exciting time of learning and growth as well.
I encourage all parents to learn music with their children. As a violin teacher I know it’s the best way for a child to learn and remain dedicated to their instrument and for the parent to be involved in a constructive manner.
Children learn best by example. If their parents say, “I have no musical talent,” kids are bound to live the same fate. However, when you choose to learn music from scratch you prove “if I can do it, you can too!” In six years there has been only 1 parent/child duo of mine that quit.
Parents pay more attention in the lesson and remember things the child may have forgotten or didn’t understand. You can help your child when he/she runs into difficulty and continue teaching at home. Plus, he/she won’t get away with fibbing, “teacher said I don’t need to practice!”
Routine practicing is of utmost importance as a musician. Unfortunately, for many children practicing feels like grueling torture or cruel punishment! If getting your child to practice is as hard as getting them to clean their room, you could lead by example and begin practicing on your own. Your child will most likely want to join in, saying, “no, Mom, this is how it goes!”
When a parent shows commitment to the practice routine the child will soon follow. The child will improve much faster and feel more confident in his/her abilities. Providing a positive influence will help the parent feel more supportive and nurturing, not like a policeman!
Practice can become a family project. Weekly family concerts are an excellent activity emotionally, musically and socially. By playing for an audience the musicians step out of their comfort zones and overcome nervousness. The weekly goal of a concert teaches your child the value of practice, dedication and setting goals. The family as a whole becomes more involved and supportive by offering the players encouragement and feedback. What better way to spend time as a family?
I wish you and your family a fulfilling and successful new season of learning.