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Encouraging your child’s Musical gifts

Child on Harp Encouraging your child’s Musical giftsIf your child displays musical prowess, then it is your responsibility as a parent to harness that ability so that their potential is fully realized.  Your support is vital to them as they strive for mastery of their musical gift.  Make the experience come alive by showing them how, by exploring and using their gifts, they will learn lessons of perseverance, dedication and self-fulfillment which, while interlaced with disappointments, will prove to be lasting life lessons.  Let’s look at some practical steps you can take to encourage them along the way.

Find a good teacher to help them with instrument or with voice training.  The right teacher and training will ensure that they learn the correct methods and have a good foundation on which to launch.  If possible, once you are sure that you have found the right teacher, sit in on a couple lessons to see how your child interacts with the teacher.  Make sure the teacher sets goals and charts a path of progress so that your child does not become frustrated.

Ensure that your child practices every day.  Music is one of those gifts for which practice is important.  The rule of thumb is to practice for at least half-an-hour each day.  It is said that consistency creates perfection so rather than practice for 3 hours once a week, encourage your child to set aside some time each day.  Try and make the practice time enjoyable, set up a specific area at home and a particular time of day for practice.

Take part in the process by applauding their efforts but never criticize their play.  Learning an instrument or learning to sing are areas which take a lot of practice and children will experience a fair amount of highs and lows.   They can sometimes become discouraged and frustrated when they fail.  When that happens, remind them of how well they have been progressing and let them understand that anything worth achieving takes time and effort.  When your child has to practice, (especially if they are very young), you can probably sit with them and ask them to perform what they have learned during lessons.

Take them to see live performances of professional or amateur musicians.  This will be a great influence as they observe positive role models that they can look to for motivation.  It is good to expose them to a wide range of music such as jazz, opera, ethnic, pop, country or folk music.

Get the whole family and friends involved in and talking about music.  Make it fun.  If your child has friends that are also musicians encourage them to form a band; this will add another dimension and they will view practice more as play time.  Take them to visit a museum that has a collection of musical instruments; this will arouse their interest and help them to appreciate the history behind the instrument.

Encourage your child to play in the school band or chorus.  This will not only help to develop their gifts but also improve their knowledge of music. In addition, it will aid in the development of their craft and help them to gain confidence when they perform for an audience.

As your child becomes a more proficient musician, it is important to be let them know how well they are doing and how proud you are of them.  Look for signs of setbacks, encourage them when they fail, and ensure that they continue to enjoy the journey of making the most of their musical gifts.

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