The first question we always ask parents is, why are you interested in music lessons? Some parents want their kids to take music lessons while others are here because their kids want to take music lessons. Whatever your reason is, it is important to understand what music lessons are all about. Yes, they are about the obvious, learning an instrument, but there is so much more than that. Would you ever ask your child if they want to take math? If they want to go to school? The same goes for music lessons. The first and most important thing to come to an understanding about with yourself, your spouse and your kids is that you want your child to take music lessons. Coming to this conclusion will make your musical journey so much easier for all of you.
After you have made this clear to everyone involved, it is important to make sure that you understand that your child will love thier music lesson. They will love to go to their music lessons and they will enjoy being a part of a musical community. They will not always love practicing. Sure, some kids will, but most will have their ups and downs and that is ok. It does not mean they shouldn't play an instrument nor does it mean that they should stop playing an instrument. What it means is, music lessons are challenging and require work on the part of the child and the parent. Every time you encourage your child to practice, play a recital, go to a concert or do their theory homework, you are not only making your child a better musician, but you are teaching him or her a life skill. You are teaching your child that in order to be good at something, they must put in the time and be patient. In order to master something, you have to focus and work hard at it. This work will pay off later. They will learn the song. They will learn the piece and they will learn that if they put in the time, the end result will be something they can be proud of. This will carry over into everything they do.
Some parents think that making their child practice will make them hate music lessons. They won't hate music lessons or music. They may get a little upset with you but kids like to follow rules and they like routine. Most kids are used to doing homework each night. They are used to filling out a reading log and they are used to having responsibilities. Remember that it takes awhile to get into a pattern of practicing, but once you do, it becomes part of your every day routine. Once they get used to this, it will be hard to break that routine. Yes, we know it is hard to find time to practice. Everyone is busy and everyone is doing a million things but this is an investment. You will be happy that you did this.
There will be a lot of happy, successful achievements along the way. Your child will play a recital and be so happy he or she practiced. Your child will get a sticker at his or her lesson and that will make him or her smile. Your child will master a piece by Bach and he or she will feel proud. Your child will be happiest though when he or she is an adult and he or she can play an instrument. Your child will look back and say, "I am so glad my parents made me play an instrument." And you know what your child will do next? They will sign up their children for music lessons because that is what they learned to do.