Being a professional musician, I had always wanted my kids to show an interest in music. My oldest son, (who is 16) to this day still hasn’t, but my 14 year old has. In fact, he has now achieved 1st Clarinet in his high school band. Unfortunately, it’s one of those instruments that many kids give up playing after they finish school. I hope that is not the case. In the 40s, clarinet players were the “rock stars” of the day (i.e. Benny Goodman). But not today.
I used to give guitar lessons about 20 years ago and tried a few times to teach my kids. Again, my oldest showed no interest, but my young clarinetist did – for a while. I went out and bought him a guitar and an amp and he practiced and played for a while. Now the guitar mainly is a dust collector.
I guess I was to blame too. Working two jobs made it difficult at times to plan and stick to a teaching schedule. I should have been more disciplined myself.
The point here is that we as music teaching parents need to be just as disciplined as a student when it comes to creating a teaching schedule. I also think it is also important that we make those lessons fun. After all, kids have many other options and distractions today, more than we did as kids.
The teaching aspect aside, spending time helping our kids with their music lessons allows for great bonding time. As we grow older, we can always look back at those wonderful times of spending quality time with our children.
Are all parents music teachers? Of course not. However, there are a lot of solutions out there today such as software, books, DVDs, etc, that allow children to learn music and have fun. Whether we as parents know anything at all about music doesn’t really matter.
We take on another role as a mentor. But the time spent with our kids is priceless. And we can learn along with them. And regardless of the outcome, that time spent is something we will never ever regret.
Vincent J. Miele is the CEO and Founder of cybermidi.com