Music Perception

What role does the parent play in their child’s lessons?

Many parents think that simply providing for the lessons and making sure they get there ontime are the only roels they play. While these are important, parents can be great motivators and encouragers for their children. Generally speaking, the younger the child, the greater the role the parent(s) will play. For children who are not yet fluent readers, the parent will have to spend time practicing with the child, reading the instructions that I give at each lesson. This can be a very rewarding and valuable time spent with your child, as long as you try to keep it fun. Some ways to do this, is have the child pretend to be the teacher and give you a lesson. Asking them open-ended questions will help reinforce what they’ve learned, while they will enjoy being the “teacher.” Be sure to praise your child for when they play something right. If you notice mistakes, wait until they finish playing the song before pointing them out (unless I say otherwise).

For children who are able to read directions, the parent can still be a facilitator by asking them to play certain pieces or scales for you. Picking a different one (or all of them) can be rewarding for the child to give a little performance for you. Always give them praise for their hard work.

As the child gets older (usually around pre-teens and teen ages), they may not want to share their music as openly. This all depends on the child’s comfort level. I suggest not to push the issue, and if they wish to have privacy when practicing, be sure to not comment either way if you heard them. You should still ask if they would like to sing or play for you, however, in which case you can give all positive comments.

Each child is different, and so this may or may not apply to your child. The point is, a parent should be an active part of the learning process, in whatever capacity works best for the student.