Learning to play an instrument or singing in a chorus, has many benefits for kids. They not only learn to love music, but they build friendships, and even do better in other academic areas like math.
Most parents start to think about music lessons for kids, when they are 11 years-old. It's also around the time kids begin to participate in their middle school band, orchestra or chorus. This can be a good time to start, but according to new research findings, it's also when many kids end their music lessons.
According to Study International, researchers in the United Kingdom found a sharp decrease in music lessons after the age of 11. It's a shame that so many kids give up not long after they begin their lessons. The researchers found a number of reasons for the departure, including getting bored, frustrated, disliking practice and/or having other competing activities.
The site gives a lot of tips on how to try and encourage kids to continue with their music lessons. It's good to look at these tips, because the kids who stick with band or chorus, tend to be music lovers for life.
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The first step is to find out the reason why children don't want to continue lessons. It might be that they feel intimidated by other kids, or they don't get along with their teacher. Maybe, it could be that, they have stage fright and need support in building their confidence.
It might be a good idea to find a new teacher. Another thought, might be to switch to another instrument that interests them, or even, challenges them more.
It's also important to make practice time more engaging. It shouldn't be a burden. So, parents should be flexible, and consider the amount of time being set towards practicing. Practice that isn't as strict will help kids feel less pressure to perfect their skills. Reassuring them, even when they aren't doing so well, is helpful to not make kids feel like they're failing.
Another tip, is to have kids take ownership of their music lessons. Encourage them to make their own (smart) decisions, in regards to practicing and making their music studies a priority. Kids need to feel like music is their thing, not something that their parents make them do.
The studies show that a number of kids regret quitting music lessons. Parents need to be aware, and make sure that they aren't just giving up, because they aren't getting the right kind of support. When it is time to move on, be sure to praise them for what they accomplished, and let them know that they can go back to music again, at any point in their life.