Should parents insist on regular music practice? On the one hand, parental pressure can destroy a child’s sense of motivation: if the child takes the initiative, it is best not to interfere. On the other hand, commitment is fundamental to character. Commitment perseveres through low times and high times and helps individuals overcome difficulties. Children only can learn about commitment by being committed. As children grow, they learn about responsibilities, such as the requirement to complete school homework and the expectation to assist with household chores. Just as parents and teachers sometimes must encourage children with these obligations, so it is with music.
The expectation of a commitment underpins the regard attributed to an activity. If there are household expectations in some areas, but not regarding music practice, it could imply to the child that music learning is not that important. Children always will be tempted to neglect their practice responsibility, just as with any other commitment. There were times in my childhood when my mother vehemently threatened courses of action if I refused to get back into a practice routine. The most effective of these was when she threatened to sell the piano. “Very well,” she said. “We’re selling the piano. It’s just taking up space!” I’m not sure what other threat would have worked, but this one caused some serious thinking on my part. You cannot learn to play the piano without one, so did I really want to learn or not? Yes!
An excerpt from ‘Learning Strategies for Musical Success’ by Michael Griffin
“A must buy for every music teacher and music student” – William Bruce, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, UK.
“A must read for all music educators” – Robert Adams, Music Educator, New Haven, USA.