I am the owner of a music school and a parent. My children have brought me face to face with the challenge of inspiring young people to learn music. Teaching them has been eye opening and I have at times found myself baffled. It’s been humbling to say the least. It occurred to me that other parents might feel challenged as well.
I would like to offer some personal discoveries in hopes of fostering a healthy philosophy that works for parents and their children on the life changing and spiritually powerful experience of learning music.
At the end of the day, a young musician must want to play music for personal reasons. It must fulfill their own idea of growth. Simply put, our job as parents and teachers is to not ruin the student’s experience! This is fundamental to everything I do as a teacher.
The problem is that a music student in the early stages of learning an instrument is limited in their ability to express themselves and can lose confidence. Any lack of self-confidence, coupled with feelings of guilt about not practicing enough or fear in disappointing a parent, inevitably creates a real barrier to success. Other activities that promote better feelings inside quickly take priority. A sad and early end to what could have been a magical and life changing musical journey is the result.
The key to success on our part as teachers is to remain highly sensitive to how the student is reacting to the music they are learning. Finding songs that they love and breaking those songs down into truly enjoyable parts to practice and play together always works.
A mentor of mine once said to me, “Go to the music they love, and they will love music.” Those words are the cornerstone of our philosophy at Beyond the Beat. Our primary goal is to nurture the love of playing music in each and every student who walks into the studio. Teaching and learning music is a rich and rewarding experience for all at Beyond the Beat.