Many parents are drawn to the idea of teaching their children to play an instrument. As we see also with sports, languages and academic pursuits, children have an incredible ability to master almost anything when they are introduced to it from a young age.
Parents often would like their child to develop a deeper appreciation for music, and the first step is usually to have them begin music lessons and teach them an instrument. This could allow the child to have a more meaningful relationship with music, it gives them an interest and a hobby to enjoy, and in rare cases it can also provide a career opportunity. Nowadays, there is also an increasing body of evidence to show that music can make your child perform better in other fields, such as math and physics.
“Organized music lessons appear to benefit children’s IQ and academic performance – and the longer the instruction continues, the larger the effect,” writes the American Psychological Association in a discussion in the May 2006 issue of the Journal of Educational Psychology. “Lead researcher E. Glenn Schellenberg, PhD, says the recent study builds on work he published in 2004, in which 6-year-olds given a year of voice or piano lessons saw a significantly larger increase in IQ than a control group that waited a year for musical instruction.”
A common mistake from parents is to assume that they should teach their child to play violin, piano or another instrument with more pretentious connotations. This comes from some mistaken belief that the harpist has greater technical abilities than the guitarist through virtue of the instrument they play.
Everyone can remember that, as a child, we get ideas about what we want to do. Many parents try to fight it, but they should actually embrace it. If your daughter wants to be a singer, take her to singing lessons. If she wants to play guitar, let her.
Statistically, the biggest problem of all is getting your child to stick to lessons over the years. So, the worst things you can do are fight against your child’s instincts, force instrument selection and remove the fun from the process. Keep in mind that it’s much easier to learn a new instrument than to learn about music from scratch.
Many parents assume that, by the time their child is a teenager, they are already too old to excel at music, but you just have to look at the case of Luke Bryan-artist to see this isn’t true. He got his first guitar at age fourteen. He started learning, and then went on to play local gigs in and around Georgia. At one point, he was getting ready to go off to Nashville to be closer to the music industry, but then his brother died in a tragic car accident the day before he was getting ready to move.
Instead of heading off to Nashville, Luke Bryan stayed behind to support his family and continued to participate in the local music scene. In the end, it was his dad who saw his talent, knew his dreams, and told him to go to Nashville so he could progress with his career. That was in 2001, and the rest is history.