Occasionally I’ll have a parent tell me they can’t get their child to practise. That they just don’t want to do it (most of my parents tell me they can’t drag their child away from the piano but that’s a story for another day).
My response is always Can you get them to brush their teeth? – yes. Can you get them to do their maths homework?- yes. Can you get them to go to school?- yes. I’m convinced that the reason parents can get their children to perform these activities is because they are non-negotiable tasks. There is no grey area in the boundaries they set around these things and the child respects the limits.
My next question is how highly do you value music in your child’s life. Most of my parents say an 8 or 9/10 at least. They VALUE the benefits of music education and know without a doubt that it not only teaches children to play an instrument but also
not to mention the ability to make good choices and overcome procrastination. I had one of my students just this week tell me how when she actually did the assigned work, that she had been putting off, she realised it wasn’t as hard as she thought. THAT lesson is invaluable in her everyday life!!!
All these qualities are necessary for any long term relationship. So my next question is, well if you value music almost as highly as maths and literacy and know from watching each lesson each week that new neural pathways are constantly being created that will assist your child in every other area of their life why are you letting your child decide if they would ‘like’ to practise or not.
Well, then the next statement is but I don’t want them to hate it and turn them off music forever. Ok fair enough but we don’t have a crystal ball and the other side of that is what if they say to you when they are grown up that they wish you had never let them give up!!! The latter is what I suspect as if I had a dollar for every adult that has said that to me over the years I would be a very rich woman.
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