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Music learning provides various benefits documented in our previous blog posts. However, the real challenge is to convince your child to practice the instrument. Assuming you have tried the five ways to inspire your child to practice an instrument and it is still not working.
Let’s dive into the learning environment at home. As quoted from Mahatma Gandhi, “There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”
Imagine a scenario at home, “I don’t want to practice” or “I want to quit because I don’t like to practice”. Firstly, you have to understand that this is completely normal. Music lessons are fun and exciting at the beginners’ level, when practicing does not take a lot of effort.
Giving in is a quick way to avoid whining and complaining attitude from your child. It often wears down even the best daddies and mummies. What about the future challenges in life that could not be avoided?
This is a good chance to develop your child's self-discipline.
Before you know it, your child might achieve his/her first milestone. You will be proud. When consistency is achieved and you work in a team which include the school, teacher, parent and student, this provides alot of opportunities to share your problems and they could offer suggestions and ideas to help your child.
It is also important to begin with these two components:
1. Create a good learning environment at home
2. Provide the support and guide your child
Here is the breakdown of a list of supportive practice environment (also mentioned in our previous post):
List of Supportive Practice Environment
1. The television is turned off during practice time.
2. Mobile and computer games should be turned off during practice time.
3. Younger siblings should be occupied with other activities away from the practice area.
4. Plan a suitable time that is best for your child to practice, set a timeframe for his/her practice.
5. Place the music books in the same location to avoid misplacement of books.
6. Follows the points or instructions given by the music teacher in the notebook or music pieces.
7. Motivate your child to practice independently.
Teaching your child good practice habits at home takes a lot of patience. Since research has shown that students involved in music helps them to achieve better academic results than non-music students, helping your child to stay committed and encourage continued participation is one of the best investments in your child’s future. It also develops self-discipline which will come handy in school, their future career and beyond.
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One of the greatest barriers that prevent the breakthrough for learning to play an instrument in the long run is the idea that music is just for fun. It might be true to bring music appreciation to children as young as two to three years old. However, as your child progresses, it takes time and effort to turn their music pieces into something beautiful. Practice!
If you child is already learning music, there are five ways that you could inspire your child to practice at home.
Children that are between three to seven years old need higher level of supervision. Often times, the instructions/points to note are given by the music teacher in the notebook or music pieces. Read them.
Silence is golden. Your child needs concentration during the practice session. Ensure an environment free of distractions for instance; sounds from the television programmes or activities that will distract your child will make the practice session more productive.
Encourage practice as everyday activity
Instill daily practice as part of the activity, just like brushing your teeth every day. It helps further by following the instructions/points to note given by the music teacher in the notebook or music pieces.
Perhaps, ask your child to teach you how to play the instrument! It helps to reinforce what they have learnt in class. Your child may repeat the same song many times during the week, but practice makes perfect. Motivate them to practice and resist from saying, “Why are you playing the same song again?”
Reward your child for practicing the instrument regularly. It could be as simple as, “Practice this song well and you will receive ...” This reward system hopes to gradually build confidence and commitment in your child when learning an instrument.
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Once your child is keen on learning an instrument, the next step is to choose a teacher. For many parents, this means searching around for a good private instructor.
Ask the parents of children who are already learning music, friends and others in your community for recommendations. Word of mouth is a good way to find a teacher.
Ask your Child for Feedback
Before registering for your child, it is appropriate to ask your prospective teacher if trial lesson can be observed. Choosing an effective music teacher could be based on the qualification and teaching experience. But a great teacher needs much more than the shiny master’s degree on the wall, they need to have the heart, spirit and dedication to turn making music into a magical experience for her students. After the trial lesson, ask your child for feedback. Young children may not be able to analyze the experiences during the trial, but they will know what they liked, and whether or not they want to go back.
Trust your Gut Reaction
An effective teacher helps your child end each lesson on a positive note, inspire them to feel proud of their accomplishments, and motivate them to practice during the week. To any teacher, it is important to notice and respect that the teacher’s age may not be a deciding factor, for instance – the very youthful private teacher has more than one trick up her sleeve which could be a good sign of patience for engaging the students and overcoming challenges for students with shorter attention span.
Are you ready to make a choice now? Trust your gut reaction. You know better what teacher is best for you or your child.
Your expectations for your child’s musical learning journey could be as intensive as skipping grades to achieve certifications or it could be truly a skill that your child will eventually learn to enjoy playing their music pieces.
Learn 2 Play Music takes emphasis on a dynamic approach to meet the learning styles and needs of each individual.
Sign up with us here or Call us @ 6384 1041 for a trial to see if we are a good match. :)
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Parents play the most important role in helping their child learn. In fact, home is the child’s first school, and parents are their child’s first teachers.
Children are like Detectives – Learn through Observing and Experimenting
Children learn through exploring and making sense of the world around them. Upon crossing the road, for instance, your child may be curious about the cars and traffic lights. You could take the time to stop, observe what is happening, and direct the child's attention to the details. "Let’s watch and see what happens when the light turns green. See how fast the cars are moving?" – But, safety comes first.
How to help your child to learn?
Children are like Copying machine – Learn through Watching and Modeling
Unconsciously, a child’s learning process involves watching and modeling people close to them, this includes language and behavior.
What would be a more positive approach to help your child to learn?
Children are like Children - Learn through Play
Perhaps, this is one of the key processes of a child’s way of learning, learn through play. Parents may encourage learning by providing some basic materials in-house or organizing outdoor activities to extend their play.
What materials would be helpful for my child to learn?
What would be more rewarding than watching your child enjoy their learning and getting better each time? At Learn 2 Play Music, a child’s learning is the primary focus of parents and teachers. First, we learn to play music together, thereafter, we play music to learn together. Free trial lesson is available to experience it! Start off your music adventure with us, click here to register or call us @ 6384 1031 for more enquiries.
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Music can be fun with kids, and it could be as simple as clapping, dancing and singing!
When kids participate in music activities, for instance, moving with the rhythm and keeping the beat, the brain starts forming connections that help sharpens motor skills and it also helps to establish routine that enhance their learning power.
Try some of these music activities that will get them moving:
The Marching Parade
Try making a homemade drum or re-use pot, bowl or even shoe box and prepare ice-cream sticks or chop sticks. Play a nursery rhyme, the key is to introduce to kids to march and hit the drum while the music is playing.
Ask the kids to march without the drums and once they are ready, proceed to hit the drum according to the beat of the music. You may increase the complexity by increasing the tempo.
Playing in a Concert
Parents/Teachers are encouraged to introduce famous/pop songs of various genres beyond classical music. For this activity, kids will use the homemade instruments as shown in the first game. You could even sing along, or play with a musical instrument to feel more like a concert!
My Body Percussion, Clapping Hands!
Clapping is one of the body percussions to introduce sounds, rhythm and beat. Try to play a nursery rhyme that helps the kids to clap along with the music. Next, teach them to sing the words. The last step would be to sing the words and clap together with the music.
You could take a step further to clap the first few rhythms and test if the kids are able to clap back to you accurately. Repetition is the key, do give them a few tries and keep going until they get it right.
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Studies at University of California suggest that taking music lessons at age 3 can increase your child's brainpower. At Learn 2 Play Music, we have designed music & movement lessons, piano-based group lessons for children from age 3.5 to 7. Through our observations, we believe there are significant benefits to start music lessons at a younger age.
Results have also shown that despite having the same amount of musical training and experience, musicians who started training on an instrument before age 7 showed better accuracy, precision and stronger connections between motor regions that help plan and carry out movements such as fingering and coordinating both hands than those who began lessons later on. This study was conducted by the Concordia University and the Montreal Neurological Institute.
In the similar way, children who learn piano at a younger age often become more musically inclined than those who start later. To maximize your child’s musical potential, especially at a very young age, parents are also encouraged to be involved in your child’s music learning journey.
Give your child a head start by exploring our Early Music Learners, suitable for age 3.5 to 4 or Graded Piano Course, suitable for age 5 and above.