According to my parents, being my parent is pretty awesome! I mean, I’m me.
Support Your Young Musician
Honestly though, I’ve been studying music for over 7 years. Listening to my parents and others, parenting a budding musician can be rewarding.
Undoubtedly, depending on how committed you are, it can definitely be hard work and a deep commitment for both parent and child.
But, the joy that comes when your practice pays off at each performance is worth it all.
When I sit and think about it though, there’s definitely things that parents of young musicians can do to encourage and support them in their craft.
Here’s some advice just for you parents out there:
Make the Commitment Your Own
Raising a young musician is no easy task. Your child may have commitments related to their music that require things such as a driver, which is likely you, the parent.
It’s important that you remain as committed as your child, since you’ll be responsible for the day-to-day responsibilities in these pursuits.
Some of these responsibilities can include things such as scheduling, covering miscellaneous costs, and reminding your child to keep at it when they’re feeling unmotivated.
When I was in the think of everything, I was performing at least twice a week all over Dallas; plus had practice several times a week.
My parents took me to every event and each practice without complaint.
Immerse Your Child in All Things Music
Give your child every opportunity to learn about music.
Expose them to places such as music and instrument museums. Play all types of music in your home.
Buy instruments so that your child can experiment beyond the instrument he or she usually plays.
When I decided to try a new instrument, I researched as much as I could about it. Did my own price comparisons and then went to my parents.
One time they even saw a violin for $15 and bought it just in case I wanted to give it a try!
Find a Mentor
It is important to find a mentor for your your musician’s pursuits.
Find a teacher who is not only talented, but who your child enjoys as a person.
Your child’s music teacher can make or break their love for music. It can be the difference between pursuing their passion and dropping it altogether.
My first music teacher really helped set my heart on fire for music and we’re still friends today.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Even the most talented of musicians continue to practice.
Encourage your young musician to practice faithfully and never give up. Practice with them.
Even if you don’t understand everything they are learning, you can hold up flashcards and drill them with a set of questions and answers.
I filled our home with music all hours of the day and (still) sing in the shower to take in the great acoustics in there.
Don’t Push Too Hard
Your child, talented though he/she may be, will go through phases where they seem bored or uninterested in lessons.
Encourage them to remain committed, but lay off a bit and don’t push too forcefully.
There may even be the occasional time that it is preferable to quit lessons altogether for short periods; and that’s okay.
It’s important not to let your child get to a place of burnout as this will forever taint their impression of all things related to music.
My parents let me lead the way when it came to my music career. I followed my own path and it led me to the worship team at church.
For me, that’s where I feel like I’m supposed to be!
Assess Your Motives
As your child becomes more and more accomplished, examine your motives.
When your child has reached a level where they are being asked to perform often, it is easy to let your pride carry you away. There will be many opportunities for your child, some of which will enrich their experience and some of which will only distract them from their goals.
Be sure that everything you involve them in is for their good and not simply to boost your own ego.
As I said, my parents gave me reign over my music. They got me into music when they noticed I was always, ALWAYS humming…
and they also felt it would help my anxiety. It has.
Show Undivided Interest
The one thing your young musician may desire more than anything else is simply your undivided attention; especially when showing off their craft.
When they’re playing you a song they’ve composed, put down your smartphone, turn off the TV, turn around and truly listen to them.
Pay attention to the beautiful detail of each note and admire out loud the effort you see them putting into their music.
Raising a musician is as enjoyable as each of you can make it. Sometimes it seems that there are a lot of things to remember, but the main thing is simply to support your child in their efforts.
Keep the tips above in mind so you can both encourage and support your child as they continue to grow to be a true lover of music.