I had a conversation yesterday with a parent of 2 new students — 5 and 7 yrs old. We were talking about how to encourage music at home.
Her older child loves to practice and is very self-motivated. The 5 yr old, on the other hand, will only play when either mom or dad is playing with her.
That difference can be explained by both age and temperament. It seems that every family with more than one child has the compliant and resistant child.
My children were no exception. I had the older ‘compliant’ child that would practice first thing after she woke up at 6am. And the ‘resistant’ child that would only practice if I was sitting next to him coaxing and cajoling.
Recently, I have asked parents to attend orientations prior to their child’s first lesson. The primary motivation is to set realistic expectations.
Most children prefer to not practice.
But there are lots of ways to accept this reality which end with your child happily playing music as an adult.
Step 1 is patience. Play the long game. Take is slow and steady. Play, sing or just listen together.