Yesterday, Alison’s new piano books arrived at the studio, she was very excited. She joyfully turned each page, trying to pick the perfect piece to learn first. Alison, like many of the students who learn at Hope Performing Arts Centre fell in love with playing her instrument. Playing the piano regularly has become part of who she is and this brings great joy to her and her parents.
Alison possesses the five key characteristics of a child who will continue to play their instrument for their whole life. These five characteristics apply if your child is learning is piano, violin, guitar, singing or any other musical instrument. These five characteristics can be nurtured by teachers and parents and are the key to a child’s long term enjoyment of learning their instrument.
These five characteristics are:
Children who love playing music are driven by the Music.
Regardless of age, children who love music know what they want to learn to play. They regularly come to lessons with a list of pieces that they want to learn and this music inspires them to practice. Even when practice is difficult or repetitive, these musical children persevere and work on the activities set each week until they achieve the goals set for them. These students understand the link between practice and the joy they will feel when they can perform confidently for an audience. They are motivated by the joy that playing music for themselves and others brings them.
Children who love playing music explore or create new music regularly.
Students who love music are regularly exploring or creating new music. Many of them will have a growing library from which they can learn new pieces from. They often choose to learn new music just for fun. (Many of these students try exploring music they are not quite technically ready for yet because they want to see if they can play it). For others, you will find a pile of handwritten manuscripts next to their instrument as they explore writing music and songs. These students are eager to share these treasured masterpieces with their teachers in lessons.
Children who love playing music listen to lots of music.
When children are allowed to immerse themselves in music, they begin to hear what is possible to play their instrument. Listening provides a platform for children to discover new styles of music, new pieces by a favourite composer or even a different way to interpret a piece that they are already learning. By listening widely to music children’s musical tastes grow, which motivates them to explore the wide variety of music that has been written for their instrument.
Children who love playing music attend live concerts.
Attending a live concert of a performer who is further along in their journey is a highly motivating experience for children. Children who love to play their instruments enjoy seeing performances of both their peers and professional musicians. Watching a musician play is often a child’s first experience of live music-making. It can lead to an interest in learning a particular instrument as a child gets to see, hear and feel music in a different way to just listening to music alone. Live music provide a place where children can develop and emotional connection to a particular instrument. This connection runs very deep and will drive children to work hard to achieve similar results when they are learning their instrument.
Children who love playing music seek out opportunities to play their instrument.
Kids who love playing their instruments, play their instruments regularly. They often seek out opportunities to play them outside of lessons and practice. For some children, this could be performing in studio concerts held by their instrumental teacher. For others, it could be joining a school/community band, orchestra or choir. It could even be taking part in community musical theatre. Some children – particularly those in their teen years form bands with other musicians just to have an opportunity to play their instrument. These shared musical experiences help children to grow their skills and confidence as musicians.
These five characteristics are crucial in developing young musicians who love playing their instruments. Good piano, violin, singing, or guitar teachers can help guide young students by providing a variety of musical resources and performing opportunities. Supportive parents can help young children discover their musical passion through listening to music and attending live concerts together. When children are provided with both of these resources, i.e. skilful teachers and supportive parents they tend to thrive and grow in their love for playing their instrument.
At HPAC our teachers who love teaching young children and passing on their musical skills to them. We also provide parents with resources to help them foster their child’s love of music at home. If you are interested in finding teachers who can help your child discover the joy of playing a musical instrument click on the button below.