Tips to get kids playing music

The best way for your child to learn to play their instrument... to actually play their instrument!

Practicing, where you set out to improve your playing in specific ways, can come later. Many of us need to start with simply playing.

After all, what's the point of learning to play the instrument if we don't actually enjoy playing it -- for fun?

Here are a few practical suggestions for making this easier:

  • Out of sight, out of mind -- so leave the instrument out of its case, on a dedicated stand. If you have a piano, be sure to put it in a room your child frequently uses.

  • Use a proper music stand and ergonomic stool so that practicing is physically comfortable. Skimp on this at your peril. 

  • All or nothing leads to nothing. Sitting down to play for five minutes, two minutes, or even thirty seconds is totally acceptable. Enjoy a song here or there. You can even build it into the routine: "Okay, play me a song before we leave for school." "Play us a song before dinner." "Let's play a song before bed."

  • Revisit songs that are already "mastered." Your child is building a repertoire, not checking off a to-do list. Playing songs that are already learned is the whole point.

  • Play right along with your child! Duets are so much fun. What better way to model the value of playing music than by doing it yourself?

Lower the bar. Lower the stakes. Just play. You'll be delighted with the results.