written by Aria Taboada, Metro Music Makers instructor
When I was nine, I started learning my first instrument, the violin. You would think that since I am a music teacher now, I must have loved playing music from the very beginning. This is actually not the case! Fortunately for me, I had parents that saw my talent and pushed me to keep going. There are a few specific things I remember that kept me going.
1.) Having a trial period.
Learning a new instrument can be difficult, and it takes lots of patience and practice. Most of the time, the music is not going to be “beautiful” right away. Many children want to quit after a few months, or end up being withdrawn from lessons because they are not practicing. I always highly discourage this, and recommend that parents set at least a year of trial time. Also, most children do not self-motivate. Have a system in place that is not too overwhelming. Even ten minutes a day is better than nothing, and as long as it is consistent, a child will see progress and be more motivated to keep going.
Aria in high school (far left) at a GMEA All-State rehearsal.
2.) Having a role model.
A teacher makes a huge difference in a child’s learning process. Children can tell if a music teacher is excited about them learning. It is imperative that the teacher’s personality matches up well with the child. I was lucky to have a teacher who pushed me to listen to good music, practice, and explore my own musical talent by letting me choose repertoire to learn. Find a teacher that works for your child. There is a teacher out there for everyone!
3.) Going to concerts.
I remember my first concert as being a huge inspiration for my musical development. I went to see a solo violinist, who is still to this day my favorite. I ended up seeing him many times, and even got to meet him backstage, thanks to my amazing teacher who knew him personally. Finding a musician that I could be a fan of really inspired me to get better and better at violin and to eventually pick up other instruments as well.
Aria at age 14 with her favorite classical musician, Joshua Bell, and Angéle Lawless, her violin teacher
Music should always be a source of joy and inspiration, so find what works for your child. You will be rewarded with beautiful music in your home!