While many kids will be very excited as they first get started with learning a new instrument, there are plenty of cases where this excitement can fade with time. In many such situations, kids lose the motivation to practice their instrument -- and parents will have to play a role in maintaining it.
At The Piano Place, we're proud to offer numerous piano and other music lessons to a wide variety of learners in Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah, including children -- we even offer our Piano Place Jr. program meant to help prepare children for eventual private lessons in any instrument of their choice. This two-part blog series will go over some basic points regarding child motivation while learning an instrument, plus how parents can help their kids out in healthy, non-pressuring ways.
First and foremost, it's vital to remember that in the end, playing an instrument is a choice that's up to your child. While you can encourage them and inspire them to keep going, what matters most is whether they feel a passion for their instrument. If your child ever tells you that they don't want to practice -- or simply doesn't want to -- it's never a good idea to force them into doing so.
In many cases, kids will lack motivation if their parents are putting too much pressure on them. If you constantly remind your child how much they need to practice, or what's at stake if they don't, it will only make them less eager about the idea in general. Instead, let's go over some healthy tactics that will help motivate your kids organically and without pressure.
As many parents are well aware, most kids are allergic to the idea of doing anything just because their parents told them to. When it comes to practicing their instrument, it's important to give kids a sense of control over the whole process. This means letting them choose what pieces they want to learn, what time of day they want to practice, and even how long they want to practice for.
If you can give your child a sense of ownership over their learning process, they'll be far more likely to show real interest.
You can also give your kids simple information on how beneficial learning music is for them -- from how it improves learning pathways and memory in the brain, to how it can help them in many different future situations. By creating a sense of purpose and identity around learning an instrument, you'll help your children understand why it's so important for them to develop their skills.
While music lessons may not come with video game-style levels, kids can absolutely benefit from a few simple ways of making practice fun. You can start with rewarding them every time they complete a certain amount of practice -- this might be anything from an hour, to half an hour, to 20 minutes.
In some cases, you might even want to reward your child with something more tangible. One example is by giving them a token for every week they practice their instrument. After they earn so many of these tokens, they can choose to trade them in for something fun, like new music or an extra half hour on the weekend.
For more on how to motivate your child to practice their instrument in healthy ways, or to learn about any of our music lessons throughout Salt Lake City, speak to the staff at The Piano Place today.