Should We Force Children to Take Music Lessons?

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There are multiple studies showing us that learning an instrument at an early age helps improve the brain. That sounds like good news if you’re a parent trying to enroll your kids into lessons. But what if your kids find out that they don’t want to continue or don’t want to start in the first place?

I’m not a parent but I’ve definitely experienced the ups and downs of taking music lessons.

Before I started my lessons, I had my mom rant about how she regretted not taking piano. It worked. I consented and I took the offered lessons. Simple as that.

The first year or so, everything was going well and it was enjoyable. As the 2nd to 3rd year came up, things started to get harder and I realized that I needed to put in real effort.

I persevered and moved along but it  was during this time I wanted to quit. I was annoyed, impatient, and lazy. Fortunately, my teacher was decent and that was a minor issue. At least I should’ve been thankful for my teacher but I clearly didn’t feel that way.

So my mom stepped in and encouraged  me to continue. I sometimes complained and argued but that didn’t get me anywhere. There was only one choice and that was to continue with the lessons.

As I look back, I don’t think I had a choice to quit. On the other hand, I don’t really regret it. It ultimately paid off and I’m content with my progress. Now, I can help other students with piano by teaching them. Which is what I’m doing now.

As you see, this is only my story and I understand the other issues concerning bad teachers, financial issues, and so on. But in the future, I hope to help others who have similar problems.

The main question is if we should “force” children to take some form of music lesson.
There are lots of answers to that question and it’s a question that has been haunting parents for quite a long time. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a clear answer because my experience may be different than yours.

Did you have any issues when YOU had your music lessons? Let me know.

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9 thoughts on “Should We Force Children to Take Music Lessons?

  1. I think it’s a good idea to give every child something to do that’ll distract them from telly and challenge them more than video games. I’m against forcing children to do things, but sometimes, the lessons cannot be understood until after a person is too set in their ways to learn them again. I started learning the piano at three, but I really hated it and was only able to listen to piano music two years ago without wincing. I can read music, which is good, and thanks to that training, I have a mild form of dysphonia, which makes it difficult for me to enjoy pop, trance or electronica. My musical horizons are very narrow, but I like them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a parent, I found this an informative and enjoyable read Shane. My daughter plays the violin and we have been told by several adult players that she has a real natural talent for it. She loves playing, but trying to get her to practice is so difficult! Like you wrote, I think it’s the reality for her that it requires effort and hard work and she just wants to have fun, not practise scales! And so I found myself nodding to your blogpost as you have eloquently written what a young child can only express through arguments! Many times I have wondered if it is worth continuing the lessons, but I hope by persevering with the encouragement (and I never force her!) that ultimately she will be pleased she did. It seems such a waste to stop doing something you are good at and you love doing! I guess at her young age, the reality hasn’t yet hit home that one day you have to have something you are good at to make a living 🙂 On the plus side, she has an amazing teacher who totally inspires her! Glad you persevered and are now enjoying your musical side!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your story and I’m glad that you found it relatable. A good teacher will be beneficial on your daughter’s journey as a violinist. And through perseverance, it will pay off. Once again, thanks for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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