I had written this blog a few years ago for another site but felt I should re-share it as is just as important now 🙂
Recently, I had a mother pass a message along to me that because her child was not focusing on her homework enough, lessons would be taken away as a form of punishment. I wish she told me in person because I would explain that lessons are not a privilege but rather a right.
Music lessons are just another aspect of children’s education. For example, a grounded child still goes to school, why should music lessons be any different? Socrates said, “Children should learn music and gymnastics before learning how to read and write” Then music should continue to be very important throughout their education years.
Parents want to make sure that their children have every opportunity to be the very best that they can be. If parents take away their very opportunities that help them reach their goals, how can they justify it?
Valerie Strauss in her blog “The Answer Sheet” features an article by Lisa Phillips – Top ten skills children learn from the arts. “She includes a list that includes creativity, confidence, problem solving, perseverance, focus, non-verbal communication, receiving constructive feedback, collaboration, dedication, and accountability (here it means acknowledging mistakes and understanding how they impact the group). These so-called “soft skills” have a greater impact on success in life than standardized test scores.” Just something to think about!
Another issue that I’ve noticed that comes up is when parents will threaten their child that lessons will be taken away if the child doesn’t practice enough. Don’t worry when there are days when there isn’t any practicing. First of all, your child will make progress in the lessons and you can read more at SaraMarieBrenner.com about the teacher’s perspective on practicing, and her patience when there is a lack of practice.
Another reason why parents shouldn’t use threats to stop lessons if practice does not happen, even though threats work during high motivation it can do the opposite during “growing pain” years. And sadly, I’ve seen children remind parents of those threats. Instead, focus on positive.
Lastly, children should never be criticized in the presence of others and especially their teacher. Teachers focus on building good relationships with their students and children will be embarrassed by such behavior. Instead if parents have issues, give the teacher a call to chat about concerns.