9 Reasons Your Children Struggle to Make Progress on Instrument Learning (Part 1)
Have you ever seen your children struggled so hard to make a tiny progress on instrument learning that made you frustrated as well? Some parents may think their children are simply not a musician material; some may think their children are not practicing hard enough. Stop right there, It is not preferred to underestimate children, or judge them before understanding the situation. In fact, there are many valid and common reason why young instrument learners struggle so much to make progress. And we are here to explain some of them.
Not practicing after class
There is no way a two-hour lesson every week could lead your children to becoming a decent musician, let alone an outstanding one, even if they have been learning for 10 years. Extra time apart from the weekly lesson to spend on practicing is essential and salient to succeed. We recommend practicing twice a week, two hours each.
Not practicing in the right way
They might have already been practicing hours every day but still still not seeing the effort paid off. You might be thinking that they are not focusing, working hard enough, or interested in the instrument. But have you ever looked into how they practice? That traditional, repetitive way of practice may not be suitable for everyone. Spending some time on watching videos of other performers playing the same piece also helps practice and making progress. Take into account the personality of your children, and suggest an alternative practice mode if possible.
Not making notes
For every technique, every piece, it takes a lot of details to make it correct, even more to make it perfect. So, a tutor surely teaches a lot in every class and it is almost impossible to remember all of them without jotting notes. Imagine having the tutor repeating similar things every several lectures, not only would it be a waste of time, but it would also lead to slow progress regardless of how hard your children practice, because they are learning slowly. Start reminding your children to bring a notebook to class.
Blame the instrument ONLY
Have you ever heard your children blaming the instrument for sounding not good enough? Or have you already bought a new instrument because of this complaint? This is actually an unacceptable mindset. It is true that an instrument made of certain materials would sound better than that of some other materials. But a good musician would never pursue the graceful sound by getting a new instrument, instead they would strive to play the instrument with their best sound possible. If your children only blame the instrument instead of reflecting on themselves when it fails to deliver a tempting melody, they would never improve. Even if they have the best of that instrument in hand, they could hardly bring out its superiority.
Just like the way to practice, there are also tutors who are suitable for your children and who are not. We are not trying to say that the tutor who is teaching your children now is unprofessional or anything bad, but different tutors teach in different ways. Some are creative, some are straightforward; some focus on practice, some focus on theory. If you notice your children always looking confused during class, or if they often complain about the tutor, stop thinking they are just “kids being kids” or not behaving well, try to talk to them and ask them how they feel about the tutor.