How to encourage kids who love music

Early signs that they love music

We all see the reactions of babies long before one year old.

Babies love music The music is turned on, and they smile and even do a little dance to what they hear. It might be a mastered recording, or it might be your own attempt at singing. Watch them clap their hands as they react to  the melody and the rhythm. Music appeals to toddlers whether it is kids music or any other music the hear, especially if it is repeated.

When they show further interest

Somewhere between five to seven years old, kids begin to show an interest in making music. They get excited when they see their first toy piano with notes at different pitches. There are also those tiny recorders or drums that they just cannot stop playing, making you wonder why you bought it in the first place. There are some kids who show just a passing interest with these toys but there are some who are fascinated when they see someone playing a piano or when they go to a concert.

What next ? kids play

When kids show more than a passing interest, it is time to enrol them in a structured music learning program. There are a variety of instruments to choose from: the violin, the flute, the drums, the piano, and later the horns. The piano is a good starting point because a student who learns piano, learns all the basics of music.

 

Here are some ways that piano playing facilitates learning of other instruments:

  • Rhythm learned as bar counts, rests and note values, facilitate the learning of percussion such as a variety of drums, tambourine, clave and shakers.
  • Melodies played one finger at a time and the different patterns of fingering facilitate making melodies on flute, horns, clarinet, recorder, strings where notes are played one at a time.
  • Chords are groups of notes played together to produce harmony. This helps the learning of guitar strumming, a style which is a favourite of singer songwriters who sing and accompany themselves. Chord playing helps them to play by ear.

Other benefits

The many benefits of music learning are well known. The discipline, the preparation, the development of memory skills, the practicing until it becomes perfect, and the alertness and recognition of patterns all come together to develop an individual who will perform well in their academic studies. studies

Encourage them

Some kids really love to make music and their parents are not excited about taking them to lessons, and the comittment they themselves need to make. These kids play around the piano and develop bad habits that will be hard to break in the future. There are also kids who love music but they are turned off by the practicing and the regular classes. Parents need to encourage them and nudge them on to keeping up with the program. Motivate them by taking them to see children and adults on stage and have them witness the joy of performance.

I am a musician and almost every time I perform or even when I meet adults, they always express regret that they did not learn to play an instrument, and if they started, they regret that they did not continue.

What about you ?

The best time to learn is in parallel with school days. Did you start music lessons ? Do you regret having stopped learning music? Do you think it is too late to live that dream ?    adult pianist

I would love to have your comments

For further information on this topic, check out the links below:

Music lessons for kids      Never too old to learn

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31 Comments

  1. Mat A.

    Hi Joy,
    Wonderful article regarding how to encourage kids who love music. This is absolutely wonderful and spot on.
    Growing up I was more interested in baseball and football so played in school and leagues for those sports. As I got into college my love for music really exploded and I taught myself the drums and played in a band for 5 years. One of the best experiences of my life.
    Now I have 2 teenage daughters. Neither of them were interested in learning an instrument even thought they both love music. My oldest daughter seriously respects female lead singers and she has a good voice. There is a high school band in our city that has gotten some good airplay across the nation and they are really good. I’ve encouraged my daughter to start her own band – maybe this one will work! Thanks again for the great article,
    Mat A.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Hi Mat, Thanks for your comments. I have worked with children and adults and I find that the adults, especially if they love music, always regret that they didn’t stick to a music program and learn to play an instrument well. It is good discipline, it is fun and it helps their creativity( you should know). There are lots of opportunities for earning passive income in music these days just working from your home studio, or with friends. Please continue to encourage them to get involved with music. Best wishes !!!

      Reply
  2. ZEGU

    Thanks, so much for this informative post, ‘How to encourage kids who love music.’
    I wish I had come across this advice the time my teenagers were growing. I could have done something, at least send one of them for a learning programme.
    He is 17 now and sings a lot in the house. Do you think its too late to enrol him on a learning course?

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Hi Zegu. It is not too late to enrol him in a music course. The fact that he is doing so much singing, means that he loves it and should do well. I teach music and many of my students are over 20. If they have a desire to do music and never learn it, they will always regret it. Thank you for your comments. Best wishes !!!

      Reply
  3. Paul

    Hi Joy,
    I cringed when I read the part about regretting to learn a musical instrument, yep that’s me. I have excelled at most things I do but the piano and guitar just seemed too hard. My brother is a drummer and my sister and avid guitarist.

    However, my daughter bought me a harmonica for my last birthday so this could be my saving grace as it’s never too late to learn anything. Playing a musical instrument has so many wonderful benefits and your post has left me inspired.
    Thanks so much,
    Paul

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Hi Paul, you said it. “You are never too old to learn anything”. I can see that there is music in you ready to be expressed and I am happy to provide some inspiration. Now grab that harmonica, get busy and go live your dream. Thank you for your comments !!! Best wishes !!!

      Joy

      Reply
  4. Daniella

    Hi Joy,

    Great article, I really enjoyed the reading!

    We all love music in our family, and it is imperative for us that our children learn to play an instrument. My son learns piano and my husband play guitar, and my daughter wants to learn how to sing. I would love to start too, but I don’t really have the time for it. Such a shame:)
    Anyway, I really enjoyed your post!

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Hi Daniella, if you don’t start your music, you will not be a part of the family band !! Maybe you cannot find the time right now, but you can still decide on a time in the future, and plan to bring out the musician in you. Thank you for your comments. Best wishes.

      Reply
  5. rogerf20

    Really interesting article, I have always enjoyed music and as I have grown older I find myself pulled more towards Soul, Jazz and Country, don’t really enjoy pop anymore. I remember playing the drums and recorder in School and I was terrible, but there were some in my class who were amazing. There are many talented kids who are amazing with musical instruments, I think one reason they may not want to pursue it is because it doesn’t really have a cool factor when you are young. I think, as you have stated in the article, if parents try and nurture them from a early age, they may be more receptive as they grow older.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Thanks for your comments, Roger. That’s right. Playing an instrument looks like ‘play’ and when students realise that it takes work, then it is not so cool after all. Kids might not like one particular instrument, but have a flair for another and that’s where parents observe and act. Best wishes. Enjoy your soul ,jazz, and country.

      Reply
  6. Chris

    Thank you for this post. My kids seem to absolutely love music, they are only small at the moment but they start dancing to anything. The way they do it is hilarious! We have a number of basic musical instruments and I hope that they will be able to progress onto proper music making one day.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Hi Chris, you are doing the right thing by having them play around with basic instruments. Sometimes parents start them too early and they get frustrated because they don’t understand letters and numbers. Your children are already showing an interest so start telling them that you will be sending them to lessons one day and around six or seven you can start them in regular lessons. Best wishes ! Thanks for your comments

      Reply
  7. Steve Crozza

    Music, love it!

    Playing an instrument is not my cup of tea. My parents enrolled me and my sister in classes to learn piano. I had no rhythm, was tone deaf and my sister was able to play beautiful songs, play by ear but could not read music.

    I used to enjoy exam time because no matter how much she tried, I would always receive one or two marks more than she did. The reason? I could sight read, that is all I could do better!

    I am not interested in playing music these days but enjoy all sorts of music except opera, and the stuff that Eminem sings.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Hi Steve, continue enjoying the music you love and since you are a good sight reader, maybe one day you can take up playing again. Once you have learned to play piano, then saxophone, flute, clarinet….most instruments are a breeze. Thanks for you comments !

      Reply
  8. Michel

    I think it’s great to encourage your child to learn a musical instrument. It is hard work and that is why so many give up, but believe it or not, early music training does wonders for their maths skills.

    Being able to do something that nobody else can do gives a child an enormous sense of accomplishment and they just need to get over the first hurdles of getting used to the practicing.

    I strongly believe that all dancers should learn music, even if it is just the theory as it always comes in useful as they get older.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Yes Michel. The skills that children learn while doing music lessons prepare them for life. They learn performance, discipline, how to overcome mistakes, listening skills, and of course the music itself. Thank you for your comments

      Reply
  9. PeterMinea

    Hello Joy!

    A beautiful and engaging article about kids and music! And since you mentioned the piano, I remember that when I was very little (like 2 years old), my mother had a piano at her home, it had been inherited from her father who was an Opera singer (a Bass), and I liked to play it a bit… but unfortunately that was not by a long shot, I did not even grow up close to her. Otherwise I could have learned Piano from that early age!

    When I was almost nine, I was given a multifunctional piano/organ toy, that was able to reproduce sounds from many instruments (organ, pipeorgan, flute, horn etc.). That was not a professional piece, but still beautiful.

    If children have some innate talents for music, their families must be united in the first place, and help them discover what their talents are, then cultivate them!

    Maybe it is too late for me, maybe it is not.

    Kind regards, Peter

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Hi Peter. I agree with you 100%. The interest in music and the talent need to be nurtured and supported by family. Sounds to me like you would have done well as a musician. Guess what ? You are not too old to learn. There are many adults doing music lessons and satisfying their lifelong dream. Get busy. Find a tutor and bring out the musician in you !!!. Thanks for your comments.

      Reply
  10. Barbara McGinley

    Hi Joy!

    Hope you’re having a great day!

    I just finished reading your website. Excellent content!

    Right off the bat I could tell it was filled with knowledge and experience, not just in playing the piano but in your writing. Your website is so well written and the way you discuss engaging children to play is superb.

    I love the theme, formatting and your use of drop-down menus where applicable. This makes your website easier to maneuver through. 

    Your personal story is amazing! It is filled with wonderful knowledge and shows that you never gave up on your hobby and even took on others at the same time.

    When I was young I played the guitar and that began my love for music. Although I do not play anymore, I have fond memories of the days in my childhood when I would play songs for family members at gatherings.

    All the best to you!

    Barbara

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Thank you Barbara. Children are always several steps ahead in musical skills, learning, and general coping with life when they are exposed to music lessons. I am sure those guitar skills are still with you and will show up with a little practice. Playing music is so enjoyable that it is one skill you can apply all your life. Why not take it up again ?

      Reply
  11. Rodarrick

    As parents, one of our most important function is to always be on a lookout for our kids and the various things going on with them and exactly how we can make them better when it comes to interests of our kids. I like how you have simplified this in a written order by making it all a lot easier to understand. Thank you for sharing this here. I fancy every bit of this information here and thumbs up to you for sharing here

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      You are welcome Rodarrick. When kids show an interest, that is the time to make a move. There are so many adults who regret not having been exposed to learning music as kids. Thank you for your comments

      Reply
  12. Lyle

    I love what you say about regret as an adult. It’s true in my experience.

    I loved playing piano when I was 8 and I took lessons for a while. But lessons were expensive for my parents and a bit boring for me. I just wanted to make music. I have played around on a piano my entire life, but only recently began learning how to read music and understand music theory.

    I wish I had done it slowly from the time I was a child instead of feeling I had to be making a lot of progress back then. I wonder how much pressure to learn and perform comes from music teachers as well since they want parents to see that the piano lessons are useful…

    You really captured the truth about children loving to play piano and music in general. That creative side should be nourished. In my experience, it never goes away.

    Reply
  13. Henderson

    For my younger sister, I didn’t see the earlier signs you mentioned here but it could be an issue of me not paying so much attention. She has grown up to love music a lot, and I am beginning to examine which instrument she would like to play first. I see that a whole lot of people would go for the piano first. Is that a good idea in your opinion?

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Henderson, if she learns piano first, then every other instrument will be easy. However, there are kids who are drawn to the flute, the violin, the drums in preference to the piano. Let her tell you which one she likes and send her to learn music with that instrument. If she chooses the instrument, she is more likely to stay motivated. Thanks for your comments. 

      Reply
  14. Jannette

    I absolutely loved this article and hope many other parents read as well. Kids react to music and sound as early as a month old. Some infants find the music to be soothing and fall asleep quicker. My daughter loved to hear music, as you mentioned when they take an interest in their first toy which was a guitar. In middle school, she switched to playing the flute in her school band, and now as an adult, she plays the guitar while writing songs. If your child shows interest in music like mentioned in this article, let them experience and see where the music takes them.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Jannette, I am glad that you were not only aware of your daughter’s love of music, but also that you encouraged her into doing her lessons. I am sure that as an adult she will always be grateful to you. Thank you for your valuable comments.

      Reply
  15. Arsh

    During school days it was fun to go to the music room and play some guitar or piano. whenever I heard someone playing the piano it feels refreshing. Can you pls tell me if I want to learn piano online where do I start and I already have a very bad experience with online coaching.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      There are a number of online piano courses and they all approach it from different perspectives. Their website usually give a demonstration of what their training program looks like. The method of teaching, the patience and , to some extent, the personality of the coach are key. The coach has to be motivating, and pleasant. The program needs to be suited to your current level: beginner, intermediate, or advanced. You must make sure you are offered the genre of music you want to be able to play. My website will soon be offering lessons at different levels. Thanks for your comments

      Reply
  16. Joy

    Hello there! this is an amazing review you have got here. This was exactly how I started playing music when I was much younger and kudos to my parents who gave me all the supports they could and even bought me my first violin which I kept till date.

      For me, the best gift a parent can give to these kids is to encourage them and help them till they can’t anymore.

    Reply
    1. Joy (Post author)

      Yes, Joy. Parents who encourage their kids to continue music lessons provide them with a legacy that those kids will always cherish. Thank you for sharing your story. Keep playing your music

      Reply

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