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Tips to get your kids to continue instrument lessons

Whether you believe that your child is the next Mozart, or just wants to jam as part of their friend’s band, learning an instrument can be a rewarding and life-changing experience. But it can also be frustrating at times, and many children become discouraged and are likely to quit within the first few years of starting lessons.

There are a variety of reasons why children quit, including making slow progress, boredom with specific repertoires, and having trouble understanding certain techniques. Even issues such as school overload or general stress and anxiety can interfere with their playing. As a parent, you play a crucial role in keeping your child encouraged and motivated, but how do you accomplish that without forcing them to continue playing?

By listening to their needs you will discover if your child is simply not interested or if they simply need a self-esteem boost. Here are a few tips to help your child stay on track when learning an instrument.

Working with your child

woman and child posing with violins

The first step is to start a conversation with your child about why they want to quit and be prepared to listen without judgment. You can explain the importance of children learning an instrument and that it’s a valuable skill that can open up new opportunities. And if your child is more interested in their friends than practicing, highlight the fun and social aspects of playing music, such as performing with friends or joining a band.

Next, sit down together to create a plan by setting realistic goals and outlining a timeline for achieving them. Breaking down their musical journey into smaller, manageable milestones can help your child stay motivated and focused. Regularly discuss their progress, challenges, and achievements, providing guidance and support along the way.

Finally, motivate your child by recognizing and celebrating their accomplishments. Rewards such as getting their favorite ice cream (or other treat), or doing something fun when they achieve their goals will help them stay focused. Praise their hard work and show them off to family and friends. When you’re enthusiastic about their playing, they’ll be confident and energized.

Make sure your instrument grows with your child

It’s important to remember that string instrument sizes for kids vary based on height and arm length. As your child grows and improves, you will want to upgrade to an instrument that matches their size and their skill level and musical aspirations. A great beginner instrument is the violin because it is versatile, can be played solo or in a group, and can be used in a variety of musical genres.

If you are unsure about investing in an instrument, Johnson String Instrument has 3 to 12 month violin rental plans, and properly fitted, high quality violins, violas, cellos and basses. Explore rental options online, we have everything you need including charts and videos, or contact us directly.

Children love music and learning an instrument will be a journey filled with joy, growth and self-expression. By providing a supportive and encouraging environment, setting goals, and celebrating their hard work, you can help your child develop a lifelong love of playing.

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

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Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in under-served communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

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Information and helpful articles about the music and instruments we love.

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