Thursday, 10 September 2015

Why Students Really Quit Their Musical Instrument (and How Parents Can Prevent It)

I guess this is the first time I've ever felt like I'm trying to convince a child to eat his broccoli because he might end up liking it, and that it is good for them. But music is not nearly as bad as broccoli! Hey I have a bias. I love music, and have always had a passion for music education. I've experienced the benefits of learning multiple instruments. I know what its like to perform, and compose, and collaborate with other musicians. My overall communication skills, and public speaking abilities have been affected by music as well. I know what music can do, and I wish more people were able to experience it! There are some obvious objections you might have. Here are some of the most common explanations for dropping music from a students education.   The student is not musically talented (or at least thought they weren’t). The student is too busy with other activities. The student hates practicing (or the parents grow weary of begging the child to practice) The student doesn’t like their teacher. Via nafme.org   With most of these explanations, there is often a strong element of truth. It is easy to view music as getting in the way of other courses when you don't value music education at the same level as other courses. I understand. Not everyone should be a musician. But the goal of a music education in public schools is not to prepare someone to be a professional musician. Music education is about teaching a new way to learn and think. It changes the way our brains work in a very positive way. Everyone can learn music. There is no talent barrier of entry. Sure, some kids can pick it up parts of music a bit quicker than others. But if this was the case in math class, would you be ok with your child dropping that as well? Here are some ways to keep your child in music education. These are some of the biggest hurdles anyone needs to get over to start a lifelong passion for playing and learning music.   Parents need to find music just as important as other subjects.  The sad truth is that many non-music teachers and administrators do not find music equally as important as math or English language-arts, but parents need to.  Besides, you wouldn’t let your child quit math, would you?  Many kids would jump at that opportunity.  Music is a core subject…period.  The more parents treat it as such, the less students will quit.   Students don’t know how to get better.  Without the proper tools and practice habits to get better atanything, students will become frustrated and want to quit.  It is the role of the music educator and the parents to give students ownership over their learning.  Teachers must teach students why, how, where, and when to practice, and parents must obtain minimal knowledge about how students learn music in order to properly support them at home.   Parents and students think they aren’t [...]

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