Most kids at some point, usually after a year or more of study, will say “I want to quit taking lessons”. Music is a cumulative skill that grows with years of practice, and holding student interest can be challenging. Conscientious parents can help a student get through this desire to quit, but it takes patience and a willingness to make changes if necessary. First, parents need to identify the source of disinterest. Here are a few things to consider.
How many other activities does the student have outside of school hours?
Children can become exhausted by too many things to do just as adults can. In this case, help the child take a look at all activities—not just music—and make some changes.
Could the student be getting some peer pressure to quit?
Children who participate in sports or other non-musical activities could be especially vulnerable to this. The only way to find out is to ask the student candidly if this is an issue.
Is there a pacing problem with the lessons?
Students get frustrated if they do not understand and the instruction is moving too quickly. They will be bored and want to quit if the lessons are slow and not challenging enough. Talk to the student first and see if this is a problem. If it is, then discuss the concerns with the teacher. The teacher is often not aware of this problem if the student does not tell them. Most teachers will gladly adjust the amount of material covered in a lesson to make lessons enjoyable again.
Would they like to learn about music through another instrument?
Sometimes students want to try something new for many reasons. A child taking singing lessons may discover that singing in front of a audience is frightening; parents can suggest trying piano lessons instead. A student who has decided to start a rock band might appreciate guitar lessons rather than trumpet lessons. Sometimes students need some time and experimentation to find the right way to express themselves musically.
Parents need to listen and be supportive when a child brings up quitting music lessons. They should remind the student of all he or she has accomplished so far in lessons and all that can still be gained from continuing. Exploring ways to keep learning music an important activity may keep a student from making a hasty decision that will be regretted later.
In you are interested in taking music lessons in Toronto, contact Elite Music Academy at 416 406 5355 to book a trial music lesson.