During the COVID-19 pandemic — a time of hardship and uncertainty — music has become a universal language for families across the country, showing the importance of connecting with one another.
There are so many advantages to exploring the world of music-making for the first time. All you have to do is strike the first chord, sing the first note and play the first key to discover it for yourself.
Why should my child play an instrument right now?
Playing a musical instrument is a wonderful time in anyone’s life, whether your child is learning how to play the piano for the first time or you’re revisiting the guitar as an adult.
Music-making, by its very nature, is therapeutic and can help your family through these unthinkable times in more ways than you might realize. Whether you’re playing an instrument or singing together, music can increase happiness, cultivate creativity and keep the mind active. More importantly, it can help release deep-seated emotions and relieve stress.
Music also is a means to family socialization and a wonderful way to bring your family closer together. Now that we’re finding a surplus of extra time in our day, why not take this time to bring the joy of music-making into your home?
How can I get my child started with music-making?
Start by having a conversation with your child about playing an instrument, especially if they have no prior knowledge or exposure. Children often become interested in music by hearing their friends play, or from the songs in their favorite shows, movies and even video games.
Most of all, children get inspired by watching their parents. Therefore, if you already have an instrument in your home, take it out and give your child the chance to explore it with you. Touching and experiencing an instrument firsthand is the best way for your child to get excited about learning. If you don’t play an instrument or don’t already have one in your home, try to find a way to introduce one, or a few, to your child.
Once you’ve exposed your child to an instrument, start family music nights in your home each week so your child can feel a sense of community surrounding music-making.
How can I keep my child motivated and excited about playing their instrument?
You don’t have to be musically-inclined to be involved in your child’s musical education — you can even learn along with them. No matter how old your child is, your encouragement will do wonders for their confidence and willingness to keep playing.
Praise your child’s successes and express how proud you are of their progress. Children are extremely goal-oriented, so a reward as simple as a gold star on the refrigerator representing a reached milestone can greatly encourage them to continue playing.
Set aside 30 minutes two or three times a week for your child to practice, and encourage them to play for the whole family. This allows them to share their accomplishments while bringing the family together to experience the joy of music.
What are some resources I can use to get them started?
Your local instrument dealer is one of the best resources you can use when your child is learning a musical instrument. Through online or in-person appointments, dealers can help you and your child choose the best instrument and offer guidance in every aspect of your child’s musical education.
Dealers can also recommend music teachers in your area, which is very important to consider when your child is learning a new instrument. Right now, many music teachers are starting to conduct in-person lessons given the current social distancing guidelines. If that isn’t an option in your area, or you’re still not quite comfortable yet, most, teachers are embracing technology to offer lessons via Zoom or Skype.
With so much technology at our fingertips, your child can practice at home using the plethora of instruments and beginner music apps available. For example, the SILENT Piano from Yamaha, an acoustic piano that can also be silenced and played with headphones, is a great way for budding musicians to practice without being disturbed or disturbing family, especially with so many parents and children working and schooling from home.
The Smart Pianist app, also from Yamaha, is a great tool for your child to practice piano at home. It works by scanning music in the song library on your smart device and then displaying the chord symbols on your screen, so your child can learn how to play their favorite songs.
Now is a great time for you and your child to pick up a musical instrument and bring the joy of music-making into your home. After all, the beauty of music is that it’s never too late to start.
By Kyle Merritt, Chief Operating Officer of Solich Piano & Music Company, the fastest-growing piano dealership in the Midwest United States. Over the past decade, Kyle has enjoyed working with various institutions such as Otterbein University, Pittsburgh Opera, Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland State University, Ohio University, Bowling Green State University, New England Conservatory & American Music Therapy Association. Whether seeking a piano for personal or professional usage, Kyle is delighted to assist every customer in making the best choice for many years to come. Solich Piano is the exclusive Yamaha and Bösendorfer piano dealer for Northeastern Ohio. For more information, visit solichmusic.com.