When our child says “I’m going to learn to _____. I heard Sarah play it and I think I can do it, too.” — we are happy as our child is displaying intrinsic motivation.
When our child says “I’ve got to practice ____ more. I want to play it at the Spring recital.” — we are pleased our child is motivated and is showing discipline and a desire for excellence.
When our child says “I’ve got to practice _____ more tonight. I want to play it at the Spring competition.” — we are pleased our child is showing competitive spirit and ambition.
Music is an activity that can teach a multitude of values — creativity, excellence, discipline, commitment, community, teamwork, bravery and more.
But music is not the ideal vehicle for teaching every value.
Learning the violin is embraced by many as an ideal way to teach discipline and excellence. As those important values have become part of the culture of playing the violin, it has lost some other important values — creativity, community, balance, sustainability.
Discipline and excellence wins out in competitions and make it on stage more often. But creativity and community deliver more joy and long lasting satisfaction.
If you desire music as part of your child’s life when they are an adult, I suggest sports and martial arts for cultivating discipline and competition in your child. They will thank you when they are playing music long after lessons, recitals and competitions end.