Music lessons: Is your child ready?
Wondering if your child is ready for music lessons? You'll want to consider several factors before signing up and shelling out the cash. Have a child who's taking lessons but wants to quit? We've got answers for you, too!
You had the best intentions when you bought the piano. You envisioned your children playing it for hours a day, filling the house with the gentle strains of classical pieces. Hasn't happened yet -- but maybe now it's time. How can you tell if your child is ready for music lessons? The answers to a few simple questions can help you make that decision.
Questions to askOne of the first questions to ask is if your child knows the difference between his left and right hands, says Liz Nealon, General Manager of KIDZ BOP, a music company that produces the most-popular and recognized music product in the U.S. for kids aged 5-12. Kids should also know how to count to ten, and know and recognize the letters A through G.
Practice -- and patience -- makes perfect
Once kids start lessons, your job isn't done. Your new role fluctuates between that of cheerleader -- "part of our job as parents is to help our kids learn to persist in the face of new challenges," says Nealon -- and benevolent dictator, as "forcing a child to continue a bad experience might turn him off to music altogether," she says.
Quitting music lessons?
If your child says he wants to quit lessons, don't dismiss him immediately. Instead, ask questions and try to understand what the problem is. Let your child know that you hear his wishes and concerns, and that you're going to observe a lesson or two before you make a decision.
When you do sit in, says Nealon, pay attention to the teacher's patience and encouragement, and ask yourself whether the teacher's temperament meshes with your child's. Is the lesson interesting, with the necessary repetition made fun and interesting? Is your child able to understand and master the material?