It’s going to happen eventually. Whether your child’s school asks them to play an instrument as part of their education or your child naturally gravitates towards music, it’s something you’ll have to deal with. Playing an instrument well takes time and effort and most kids don’t have that. They would much rather be playing with their friends than studying in any kind of form. So, how do you encourage a child to play an instrument and enjoy it?
If your child has the choice of instrument, instead of the school just placing something in their hands, choose wisely. It may be cool to play the drums, but your child may be much better suited to the keyboard or piano. Let your children test out a few different instruments before settling on one. The point of testing before you spend money on instruments and lessons, is to find out what they’re naturally good at. If they’re good at something, they’re far more likely to enjoy it.
It may pain you to learn everything about drum sets or listen to ‘three blind mice’ on the guitar for the millionth time, but your child will need your support. Go to lessons, let them play music for you and turn up to every performance. Encouragement is a major key in developing a child’s skills and keeping them focused on their musical goals.
Contrary to popular belief, band camp is a lot of fun. It’s somewhere you get to bond with other musicians and learn to be better at your art form. It’s a place where you can make lifelong friends and find out what you truly want from music. It’s a great investment for most parents and children get to learn from experts, while being away from home and having fun.
Show Them It’s Cool
If you want your child to play the guitar, show him/her someone they can look up to. Perhaps a member of their favourite band plays the guitar and they didn’t know. Children tend to follow their idols, so if you can find someone they look up to that plays the same instrument as them, it may suddenly become cool.
Get Them to Listen
Easier said than done, right? But this time get them to listen to songs. It’s likely that your child will want to play songs they know or popular chart songs when they’re playing their instrument. Classical songs may do a better job at improving their skills. If they don’t want to budge, you could try the old reverse psychology trick. ‘I bet you can’t learn how to play that’ often works well.
Playing an instrument isn’t just about doing something they enjoy. In fact, children who learn to play instruments often have a bigger ability to learn in general. Committing to something so young can set them up for life. But, if your child doesn’t enjoy playing music, don’t force it. You may just have to find other areas of creativity.