Assume that your child went to regular school and every day the teacher asks you to help him a bit with his homework for quick progress. For you it will not make much effort because you went to school too in your childhood. So if your talented child has started taking music lessons, isn’t there a need for music education for parents too?
I’ve been teaching at music school for many years, and I am always apprehensive of parents who bring their children to music school but have no intention to understand anything about music education themselves.
When parents want to do something to help their children in their development, they begin taking music education for parents immediately and try to learn as much detail as they can about the new study. In the first few months they do it quite easily, because as adults their memory and logic helps them a great deal, but the further assimilation of information becomes harder and harder.
Firstly, it is because the adults often have urgent matters to look into, or things to discuss with their spouse. Perhaps they are very tired at work and think that today is not the most appropriate day to monitor their child’s home studies. Or they think that the child should now become independent.
Secondly, you think that since you have participated only in the theory lessons, how can you help your child when he practices? After all, it is your child who is performing with the instrument, not you. As an adult, you know from life experience that for a good result, the theory and practice must necessarily go hand in hand.
But music education for parents is simply just necessary. Why? The answer to this question is easy: if you want to help your child become a useful member of society, you should simply be familiar with and understand what he’s doing when he’s growing up.
How can you help your child learn and further develop musical ability if you do not have the necessary knowledge in this field?
You may not believe me, but in order to help your child get good knowledge you do not need to thoroughly study the biographies of composers and spend a few hours practicing the musical instrument like your little musician needs to.
So what is music education for parents? What does this mean? It means that you should know and be able to organize the process of music education of your child, create the conditions required to arouse and sustain his interest in the lessons, and help him go higher and higher.
Many parents are surprised and shrug: so what else can I do? Now I will reveal to you only the very basic few truths that you, dear parents, should know well:
1) Right from the birth of your child, you are responsible for the development of his musical abilities, since they are not inherited.
2) You should know the basic criteria on which to search for the first and most important music teacher in the life of your child.
3) If prior to starting his music education your child cannot decide on which musical instrument to learn, you need to know exactly how to help him make this most important choice.
4) Even before finding a music teacher, you should know exactly what you personally want out of the music lessons.
What future would you like for your child? Don’t you want him to increase his IQ by means of music lessons? Do you want your child to achieve his highest potential or do you just want him to play for “leisure”? In the latter case, you will be only deluding yourself. My experience with parents suggests that this desire of parents is satisfied too quickly, and the child does not realize the true value of his invested efforts in learning music; and sooner or later he leaves musical training.