Set Your Student up for Success!

The beginning of a new school year is always so exciting.  The season is changing and we all feel ready to get back into a good routine.  So, as you begin this new year at Harmony Arts and Music Academy, here are some tips to set you and your child up for success.  

First of all, take a moment to reflect on why you want your child to take music lessons.  We like our children to be well rounded, and music does so much for brain development, but beyond that, are there any other desires you and your child have?  Is it a dream to have a family band?  Do you want your child to be able to add beauty to the world?  Or serve in your community?  Maybe take a minute to ask and find out what your child’s desires are. 

Chances are, we don’t really plan on our children becoming musicians as a profession, or even performing for large public audiences.  And if learning and practicing are consistently a miserable experience, it is likely that either your child will want to quit, or you will want your child to quit to save the relationship; and either way the beautiful dreams and desires you and your child have now, will sadly be lost.  

So, as you enter the ride of “music lessons”, remember that all children learn differently.  The path from point A to point B for some is very streamlined, straight, and quick.  For others, the path is a calm, winding road that is slower and more scenic.  But in the end, they can all get there.  It might not be at the same pace or ability as the child they are sitting next to in class, but we must remember that our child’s dream is not the same as the neighbor child and that’s okay.  If you can be their supporting cheerleader and love and enjoy the musical journey your child is on, you can trust that your child will be able to learn the musical skills to be able to achieve their own personal dream.  

Setting up routines and expectations at the beginning helps everyone know the plan.  Discuss with your child and determine what will work best for everyone involved.  Some children are early risers, some are more alert in the evening, and some work better with a short practice session in the morning, and a second one after school.  Is the expectation to practice every day, or just weekdays? Does practice mean playing each assignment a certain number of times?  Or does it mean setting the timer for a certain number of minutes?  Try out the plan and adjust as necessary.

Having things in order makes things work better.  So, set up the practice space.  Make sure there is an audio device handy to play the card games.  Keep the bag with all supplies at the piano or in a designated location.  Having the instruments in a quieter room or setting rules that keep the music room quiet during practice times allows the child to be able to hear and focus better. 

What is the best level of involvement for you? It can be helpful to your child if you practice with them, at least at the beginning of the year while they are learning how to practice.  You can even just practice with your child the first couple days when it’s the trickiest and can be the most frustrating. Remember, practicing does not always mean to do everything every day.  Some days, it’s okay to just work on one tricky part of the assignment.

So to review: find joy in the journey of your child’s musical education. Stay positive about their abilities and what they are learning.  Stay calm when the ride gets rocky, and remind them that they’ve got this!  They can do it!  Always, celebrate the successes.  And look for solutions that will keep the challenging experiences positive.  Reach out to the teachers at the studio.  We are here to help you and your child, and we know lots of tricks!  Here at Harmony Arts, we love music!  And we love sharing that love with your child and your family.  We are excited for the journey of this coming year, Welcome aboard!