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The Gift of Music: How to Boost Your Child’s Potential.

July 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Education, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comWe all want our children to grow up and be their very best. Whether your little one has shown signs of a musical talent already, of if she started to dance before she knew how to walk properly, the most important thing you can do as a parent is to further their potential. The problem with encouraging a child’s talent is that you have so much to risk; push them too far, and they might dodge every musical lesson in the future – but let them explore on their own, and they might never get as much out of their talent as they could have.

For the excited and concerned parents out there, here is the best advice on how to tap into your child’s musical talent without taking it too far.

Start with the fun stuff

An introduction to music started, undoubtedly, with love for the sound. However it was your child started to explore their new hobby, further their interest by presenting the lessons as an extension to the fun they’re already having with it. If you’ve discovered that your young boy has an extraordinary sense of rhythm at an early stage and wants to make an instrument out of every countertop in your house, introduce him to drum lessons when he’s ready for them.

Likewise, if your young daughter found her love for music in singing, sign her up for singing lessons rather than pushing a different instrument on her.

Children need to see the fun in these lessons to willingly stick to them. Too many talents have been smothered under the discipline of rigid parents who only want what’s best for their children. Completely unaware of the damage they’re doing, they often want the child to invest in their talent by mastering a complicated instrument.

The choice of instrument needs to be their own initiative, however, and the best thing you can do for them is to guide them in the right direction.

Finding the right instrument

Even though it’s a good idea to let her choose for herself, you should allow her to explore a range of instruments. It’s the only way for your child to figure out which one they prefer and the best way for you to introduce them to the world of different instruments out there. The piano is a popular choice for beginners as it will teach them the basics of music, provide them with a solid foundation for learning, as well as being an excellent instrument for learning together.

Other, smaller stringed instruments such as the violin or the ukulele are also popular options for young musicians. They come in manageable sizes and are often loved for the sound they make, as well as the way they look. Want to learn how to play? Try using one of these. A small string-instrument is also ideal to bring with when you’re away or on vacation so that your children are able to practice wherever they are.

If you’re the parent of a particularly restless child, try to accommodate the type of instrument with their active personality. A drum set, for example, is an ideal choice for musical talents who need to let out a bit of steam once in awhile.

Keep in mind that a lot of children fall in love with an instrument just as fast they fall out of love with it. Start by renting an instrument or ask their school for something they can rent, so that you’re not spending a lot of money on something that’s going to be forgotten in a few weeks.

While you’re at their school, see if they don’t also offer some sort of music lessons. It’s a good idea to start with lessons as they offer a set schedule for practice, as well as other young learners they can team up with. A school that provides a music program for the pupils but not a private teacher for each individual may still be able to recommend a decent private teacher for your child.

Make sure the personality of the teacher is a good match for your child, listen to other student’s testimonials, and ask your child on their opinion after a few lessons.

It’s important to listen to what your child says about the lessons, as a bad teacher is able to break their musical spirit completely. You’d want someone to grow their talent and inspire them to explore music further; not a pushy someone who doesn’t work with your child’s abilities – just like a pushy parent easily can make the same mistake.

You need some discipline

With all of this talk about not pushing your child too far and remembering to back off once in awhile, it’s no wonder if you’re reluctant to set up a proper schedule for practicing. It’s a good idea to start with something light and work your way up; decide on a set time and location, but be flexible enough to adapt the routine to fit them as well.

Ten to twenty minutes per day, twice a week is perfect, to begin with. You want them to have a sense of structure to the practice as it’s the only way for them to push themselves if the learning gets tough, as well as to get used to practicing their talent several times a week.

Being a parent is no easy job, that’s for sure – and especially not when the best of intentions are able to send your children in the opposite direction. Listen to the advice of those who have managed to trigger an interest for understanding the deeper meaning of music, and successfully raised a music lover who makes use of their talent.

Give them the tools for learning and the discipline for pushing through even when it gets tough – and you’ve won half the battle already.

Staff Writer; Latasha Hall

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