Students who get regular support and encouragement with their practice at home make better progress, they enjoy their music-making more, and are more likely to continue with their studies than those who are left to work by themselves.
So what do we mean by ‘supporting your child’? It means encouragement with practice, taking an interest in what they are learning, and finding the time to help them when they come up against a problem with their music. Of course, the most important element in all this is establishing and maintaining a good relationship with the teacher to make sure that you can help when required, or know that you can ask for help yourself when your child encounters something they don’t understand.
Playing a musical instrument or singing is a fantastic confidence boost, and finding time to attend your child’s performances, however big or small, is a great way to support their achievement. As anyone who has stood up to perform in front of others will know, it takes a lot of courage to do, and even a short 2 minute piece played in front of their class at the time seems like performing at the Royal Albert Hall! Encouragement and congratulations are the order of the day, and very often these playing opportunities will remain with them for a very long time.
Different children get different things from their music. Some get a huge buzz from playing in an ensemble and making music with others, whilst some children enjoy the challenges of perfecting a melody or chord progression by themselves. No matter which way your child is motivated, the teamwork of parent and teacher is second to none if all concerned understand what it is that your child gets from their music.
Musical skills have been proven to help in many other areas of a child’s educational development, and these skills will remain with that young person for the whole of their life. If learning is presented in a fun and fulfilling way, the support you give your child will work at its best.