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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  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.

    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 !!!

  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?

    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 !!!

  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,

    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 !!!


  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!

    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.

  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.

    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.

  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.

    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

  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.

    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 !

  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.

    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


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