By: Kathryn Merci Wells
Provides several ideas on how to introduce music into a child`s life. Includes ideas on how to progress through teaching and answers a few of the concerns parents may have.
A Note to the Parent(s):
There are some facts of interest to the parent before education is begun. Perhaps you re deciding on whether or not to teach your child music. The following should help you:
Music opens pathways to logical thinking, mathematics, and spacial imagery at an early age.
The earlier the exposure to music, the higher the child s I.Q. as he develops.
The most important men in your child s music education will be Mozart, Vivaldi, and Bach: the highest promoters of musical and mathematical growth in the history of music.
Teaching your child music can be cheap (even free), fun, and possibly the best time you spend with him.
Beginning Music Education
You must assess which medium of education best suits your child. Perhaps your child will enjoy experiencing the guitar or drum hands-on; in which case one might consider renting or borrowing the chosen instrument. Of course, if your child has a tendency to break everything he etouches with Midas-like accuracy, a joint listening/ observing session is possibly a wiser medium.
Your local library is certain to carry several, if not hundreds of, CDs and videos of performances by everyone from your child s favorite Muppet to your favorite music artist. Certainly, your child would love to help in the choosing. Books are also a great medium if not used exclusively. Music is hard to learn without sounds or vibrations.
Continuing Music Education
Once the education has begun, it is wise to include your child in the teaching process. Let him share what he s learned on his own as well as what he wants to continue learning. Perhaps he has expressed an interest in a certain genre of music. Perhaps Jazz has struck a particularly strong chord.
It is suggested that the parent continues a general music exposure for the child with an emphasis on the genre of greatest interest to the child. Use the knowledge you have of your child to discern whether or not he is ready for lessons. If so, follow through at your easiest convenience focusing on budget and time (more on that later). If not, simply continue your joint music sessions steadily and use your own judgement as to whether or not your child is ready.
Always use your best judgement considering who you choose to hand your child over to for one to two hours a week. Perhaps someone you know in your community or congregation is qualified in a certain instrument or you feel has a greater knowledge of your child s chosen genre.
In the beginning especially, budget and time are greater factors than the teacher s abilities. At this point in time, you are simply looking to give your child a solid base. It s possible that one hour out of the month is sufficient for you and your child. Once again, use your best judgement.
Always keep track of your child s progress. You will surely find that he has or will gain a leg up in his academics. The responsibility an instrument gives a child is also priceless. It is very important to keep track of his progress and to keep him talking about his accomplishments. As your child progresses, keep an active part in the learning experience.
Do not push him, however. Once learning becomes a chore, the child quickly loses interest and begins to dislike his newfound abilities. Last of all, keep your eyes and ears open, but most of all, your heart.