Kids need structure. Kids need music.
As we approach a new school year, students and parents may experience transitional difficulties as we get off the beach, park the jet skis and put away the beach equipment. To help kids operate their days throughout the school year and Summer months, they need structure. They need music.
Stephen, one of our veteran music teachers at our East Brunswick and Whitehouse Station Academy, found a great article online by Carvell Wallace regarding pushing reluctant kids into music. We hear from our adult students frequently, especially at the beginning of their time here with us, that they wished they never quit music when they were younger.
Students today, regardless of age, have it a bit too easy and simply need structure in their lives. Music helps with structure. Music can help your kids operate their day better.
- But I persisted, because I had no choice. Those were the rules. I never liked it, but after a while I just got used to knowing that 30 minutes of my day were going to be complete nonsense and I could probably manage that. I ended up playing for five years, and at some point, around seventh grade or so, I noticed that – weirdly – I was the best clarinetist in the school band. One day I moved up seven seats because I was the only person who could play the upper register section of the Belmont Overture…
Students don’t necessarily know what’s best for them. Most kids do not want something that’s challenging. They want what’s easy. Like adults. Everyone wants easy. However, learning a musical instrument, having something long-term to works towards, having a creative outlet – besides a tablet, smartphone or video games – is a great way to go in life. It’s also a great way for structure and balance.
- That lesson affects everything I do today professionally and personally, because in my adult life I actually got to apply it to something I wanted to do. Obviously, if I had never been made to continue, it may have taken me decades to really learn the value of pushing myself…
Parents can be sympathetic with their children regarding any struggles and reluctancy towards keeping a commitment with music learning and practicing.
- Tell your daughter that you hear her, and you understand and sympathize, but that she must continue. Not forever, but for a set period of time, two more months or the end of the Summer or an upcoming competition. If she’s still unhappy, then she’s totally free to bail with your blessing.
Look, we’ve been in existence for some time now. Music Notes started in 2000, by accident with in-home drum lessons. Music Notes Academy began adding teachers in 2006 and here we are in 2018. We are going into our 18th school year of teaching, regardless if you’ve ever heard of us or not. We see the changes in student behaviors, interests in music, practicing habits, commitment and the attitudes parents share regarding their child’s well-being and packed schedules. They are not good changes. But we adapt. We adjust our teaching content and strategies to meet the needs of each student. We lessen our expectations to match our students over scheduled lives. We are sympathetic. We keep encouraging excellence and continue to offer and recommend recitals, concerts and our MAMTG Student Music Festival. However, when it comes down to learning a musical instrument correctly and comprehensively, it requires some structure. Kids need structure. Kids need music.
Encourage your child to begin and continue music. Give your child a musically enriched life.