Teardrops on My Guitar: Learning to play a musical instrument

by This is Carrie on July 28, 2011

After almost a year of obsessing about learning to play the guitar and sing like Taylor Swift, Princess and I headed down to the local music store.  After 4 lessons and 3 weeks of practicing, the excitement has worn off and she’s realizing what I kept trying to prepare her for: learning to play a musical instrument is hard work but can bring you a lifetime of joy if you stick with it.

Luckily, I have Kristy Glass as a resource for “getting your child to practice their musical instrument” strategies since she’s been doing this for four years and two kids.  She should write an e-book.

If anyone else has any great tips on getting your kids to practice a musical instrument, I’d love to have a whole arsenal of ideas to pull from.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily July 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm

We’re going through the same thing right now with my son. I have no suggestions, but I’d love to hear what others do!

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J. July 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm

My children are young yet, but what I always suggest to my (violin) students is to practice during the time that a chore is usually done. No parent in their right mind would interrupt a practicing child to ask him/her to empty the dishwasher and help set the table for dinner. I’m not sure how this translates from to a parental perspective, though :) .

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TracyKM July 29, 2011 at 11:01 am

I was never told I had to practice. I was often told to STOP practicing, LOL. I started with an organ, in our kitchen/family/dining room. My mom enjoyed hearing it while making dinner and it got me out of dinner prep, LOL (but I still had to set the table!). Then I moved onto wind/brass instruments and practicing in my bedroom.
I think it’s like any hobby….if a child really wants to do it, and has been given some basic instruction/guidance, then the desire to practice and get better is intrinsic and automatic. If it has to be forced upon a child then I don’t think it’s worth it. My 8 year old got a guitar for Christmas after much begging, and other than 8 weeks of group lessons, it’s hardly been out of the case. But she has it, and she does love having it, and someday she just might realize what she could accomplish. Right now, my 11 year old son is banging on the drumset….of his own accord. I’m totally willing to get him “real” lessons now that I know he truely wants to play. I’m not getting the 8 year old “real” lessons until she shows more interest.

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