Creative Child

7 Ways to Inspire a Child to Practice an Instrument (Without Tears)

by Deborah Song

Playing the piano wasn't always fun for me. In fact, it was dreadful at times. But starting from age 4, I remained a dedicated pupil for almost two decades, thanks in large part to my parents. There are things about my training that worked well to inspire me and things I wish I could've changed. Here are some parenting tips to help inspire your little one to stick with it.


1. Introduce different music genres.

When teaching classical instruments like the piano, cello or violin, many parents and music teachers commit a fatal faux pas and only introduce kids to classical music. That's not to discount the tremendous value of classical training. But young kids, who are brimming with energy, respond to beats and melodies that are familiar to them. (Cue in an instrumental of Frozen). Show them how their instrument fits into the context of different songs and genres. This will at least pique their interest.

2. Take them to a live performance.


A musical, marching band or school play can provide a great context for your child's instrument. For a young child just starting out, learning to play an instrument can be frustrating. They have low attention spans and cute little clumsy fingers. So explain to them that it takes time. But show them that hard work pays off.

3. Use a positive role model.

Introduce your child to a role model, preferably someone a few years older who's been playing for a while. Kids relate to each other. When they see someone their size play well, they'll want to do it too.

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