Shortly before my 7th birthday, my parents asked me what present I would want. My immediate answer was that I wanted a violin. So began my life-long love for music.
Let me share with you a few things I have learned during the 72 years that followed:
The parent can help the child to learn music appreciation by:
- Having the child exposed to music in the home.
- Attending music events with a parent.
- Observing live music making in the home.
- Having instrument instruction from the very best teacher available.
The role of the child:
- Enthusiasm: there is no substitute for the child’s excitement about wanting to learn.
- Desire and enjoyment: The child will have some frustration; but tears signal that change is needed, and that expectations you might have set are too high.
- The child needs to have the ability to focus and concentrate.
- Learning how to practice is key toward achieving progress with any instrument.
Here are some other ideas:
Try listening to the local classical radio station and introduce a piece of music that the child enjoys. You should see their eyes light up when they recognize a song. Granted, this is the goal, but it doesn’t always happen and that is okay too.
Explore using “Spotify” to choose albums by a specific composer that you are introducing to the child. The child will become familiar with how that particular composer’s music is unique. I want them to be able to hear a piece and someday be able to say (teenager style), “that is so totally Bach!”
Kids frequently enjoy listening to New England’s Kids’ Classical Channel, or a similar program on PBS. Just put it on, leave the room, and watch as the kids slowly wander in to sit down and listen. There is lots of information, stories, and background on that channel that make the music more interesting for them. Frequently your kids will see other children, as they talk about their journeys with music.
Here is the link:
Last thought: If you do all of this with Love, no pressure, and with little pre-determined expectations, just watch, help, and see what happens.