Teenagers Need Music Lessons

Teenagers need music lessons? Yes! And here’s why… I don’t have to tell you that middle school is a rough time of life. And high school can be, too. We are the most insecure, awkward, sensitive, and probably smelly in those delightful early teenage years. Some parents tell me they are concerned about adding private music lessons to their teenager’s schedule because they don’t want to overwhelm them. But I’ll tell you what – private music lessons are EXACTLY what any hormonal, angst-ridden, confused kid needs. Here are a few reasons why teenagers need music lessons. Parents are lame. Ok, we all know parents are not lame. In fact, we know everything, but your teenager doesn’t always accept that fact. A music teacher can have an immensely positive impact on your teen’s life. You see, this person is an adult (who is not their parent) helping to support and love your child. Music teachers can say things that parents can’t. They are cheerleaders that teens can count on for encouragement. Music teachers don’t have the hot buttons that you and your child do. So they can have one of the deepest relationships your child has with an adult. Teenagers need music lessons because of the meaningful connection with a non-family adult. Feelings are confusing. Teenagers are bubbling full of extreme emotions that are going up and down all day. Music is an incredible way to express that spectrum of feelings in a healthy and productive way. I remember sitting down to the piano and playing through my Chopin book daily as a teenager. I still sit down with Chopin on rainy and frustrating days to help me feel better! Teenagers need music to help process...

How to Help Your Child Practice Music: Key #1

Everyday around the world, parents are nagging kids to practice music, and kids are fighting back, dragging their feet and thinking wistfully about the activities they would rather be doing. I have a secret. It doesn’t have to be that way. Practicing doesn’t have to cause aggravation, conflict and pain in your family. In fact, practicing can be a time that kids actually enjoy and that can improve your relationship with your kids. **GASP** “Tell me more, crazy lady!” you say? It would be my pleasure.   The first key to successful music practice I taught piano lessons to a family with three girls ranging from 6 to 10 years old, each with completely different personalities. They decided that they would participate in our studio’s 100-Day Practice Challenge. Students have to practice their instrument for the length of their lesson (i.e. 30 minutes) for 100 days in a row with no exceptions. This meant that the mom was committing to supervising the girls for an hour and a half for 100 days in a row. When I asked her how it was going after the first few weeks, this is what she said: “In the beginning it was hard, and they complained and fought me about practicing. But, now it’s just something we do. They know to expect it and they’ve stopped arguing. All of them willingly go to the piano bench, and I need to help them sometimes, but I am thrilled at how much they are progressing. I didn’t know they could play so well!” Did you notice what she did that was so successful? She was consistent....