practicing a musical instrument, how to get him to do it?

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whatamess
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22 Oct 2007, 2:09 pm

My son loves music...he's 6 and has always had musical instruments in the house and plays them for fun...also loves to sing.

He began music lessons and on his second lesson his teacher was very excited that he had learned everything he had taught him, without any additional practice (it was impossible for US to get him to sit down and practice, but he'll do it with the teacher)...The teacher also told us he has perfect pitch, as he sings the music as he plays it and does not miss a note.

With that said, he seems to really enjoy it and I don't want this to turn out to be a power struggle between us...because I don't want him to end up hating it, however, the teachers do ask that we practice with him to get him to hold the guitar correctly, press the strings harder so that it sounds better, etc...but when we attempt to get him to practice, he will just get angry at us.

I don't know what to do because I know he enjoys the music, we put him in classes because he is always playing (or attempting) to play an instrument and continuosly singing...but at the same time, he does need to practice...

Any ideas on how to get him to sit with us and actually practice? Should I just let it go?

A part of me thinks this is the time to do the occupational therapy to get him to do things, at the same time, I'm afraid that if we push him to practice, he'll end up hating it instead...



Triangular_Trees
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22 Oct 2007, 2:34 pm

Considering he's 6 I'd let it go. I know around here you have to be 9 years old to neroll in music lessons, though I'd imagine you could have some one teach you informally much younger than that



Kitsy
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22 Oct 2007, 3:09 pm

Yes, let it go. Let your son practice alone. Whatever you do, DO NOT touch your kid on the shoulder while playing. Do not make loud abrupt door slamming sounds or turn on the vaccuum.

Your son after having alone time will most likely want to show you some new stuff.



UncleBeer
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22 Oct 2007, 3:17 pm

Kids that young don't often have the kind of thoroughgoing discipline to truly profit from real practice, but maybe yours is an exception.

The best way to motivate him? Take him to go hear and see a truly fine player of his instrument, in a style he enjoys. If that doesn't do it, nothing will. :D



Basshead
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22 Oct 2007, 4:47 pm

I was like that when I was 14 and just starting to leaern. :lol:
He'll start practising when he starts learning music he likes, or enjoys playing.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star usually doesn't motivate you to play.



whatamess
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22 Oct 2007, 7:34 pm

You're right about the twinkle twinkle little star...he loves to play pretending to sing a song he knows, but the songs they are starting to teach are kids songs in spanish that he has never heard...

Thanks!



HolyDiver
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23 Oct 2007, 2:26 am

Don't force it upon him. I can guarantee that you won't have a brilliant artist and musician through those means. UncleBeer has nailed it. It's all about fire and inspiration.

Take him to see some great players. Take him to see even more INCREDIBLE players. Go out and buy some CDs of great guitarists, as well as singers. Make sure to get many diverse genres of music, he's bound to fall in love with one. In time, you'll end up having to remind him to go to sleep :lol: .

There is one band that you MUST have him listen to. It's essential for all musician to listen to according to my vocal teacher (who fronted one of the greatest hair metal bands of the 80's).

The Beatles

They are one of the most melodic bands EVER. To quote Mozart "Music is Melody, and Melody is music."

In the meantime though, let him explore the fretboard on his own. The only two things that a 6 year old should be taking seriously is having fun and Halloween.



whatamess
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23 Oct 2007, 8:32 am

Thanks HolyDiver...

Well, all of you are right...He does love to play "Jimmy Buffet" haha! So, of course, they are teaching him little kiddo songs and he loves Jimmy instead...go figure...so maybe if someone teaches him that, then he'll get the hang of it...

I'll check out about getting him some Beatles music...I hadn't heard of that, but then again, I don't own any of their CDs...We do have very varied music and he has always sang and likes most, I guess the issue is more where they start that it's little kid/baby songs and of course, in a different language to top it off, so he has no clue what the song even is...

Last night though, I had made him a little sign to put on his "Life is Good" room (that's where all his stuff is at) and it said "Gabriel and Daddy Practice Music Today" with a picture...amazingly enough, he called his dad to go practice with him...hmmm...Maybe it's a guy thing??? He does seem to like the same routines, so I wonder if that is also related...He's actually very attentive with the teacher, although he does joke around after about 40minutes...

Thanks to all!



lastcrazyhorn
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23 Oct 2007, 1:54 pm

I didn't really start practicing until I was a junior in high school. But then I went on to make all district the next year, get an undergrad in music education, and get accepted to a masters program in music therapy.

But one option you might want to explore is getting him to interact with a music therapist . . .


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whatamess
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23 Oct 2007, 2:52 pm

Music therapist? I know where we live a new center opened up and they claim to have some type of "music therapy" for kids with autism...Is that what you are referring to? I tried to get him in, but unfortunately, most parents won't pay for it and especially not at his age (6)...so all the other kids are much younger and I was told I'd have to wait until a class was ready for 6 yr olds...hmmm...

Let me know if there is a website or something about music therapy or therapists...thanks!



lastcrazyhorn
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24 Oct 2007, 7:03 am

http://musictherapy.org/

I know for a fact that music therapists work with kids and people of all ages, so the age thing should not be a concern at all. Many MTs also work one and one with their clients.

The best thing to do is just do a google search with your location and "music therapists." The qualification that you need to make sure they have is "MT-BC." That's Music Therapist, Board Certified. :)


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whatamess
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24 Oct 2007, 2:22 pm

thanks so much!



mmaestro
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25 Oct 2007, 11:26 am

I find myself wondering if he's being challenged enough:

whatamess wrote:
He began music lessons and on his second lesson his teacher was very excited that he had learned everything he had taught him, without any additional practice

It doesn't sound like he needs to practice right now. If he's goal oriented (I was in my music at that age), he may just practice 'til he knows the music, then stop. It's done, why would you do any more work on it? That may be a difficult balancing act to achieve - not so hard that it frustrates him, but not so easy that he can learn the songs without any practice, but it might help. I wouldn't push him too hard at that age - I wasn't doing any more than 10 minutes practice a day when I was 9, and it was only at 11 or 12 when I really got serious. Prior to that, for most kids, it's mostly just fun.


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beentheredonethat
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02 Nov 2007, 12:42 pm

At six?
Back off.
We did, and at 18 my son is nearly a concert quality pianist.
He did it.
We didn't. We just bought the piano.

BTDT



Pandora
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03 Nov 2007, 8:48 pm

beentheredonethat wrote:
At six?
Back off.
We did, and at 18 my son is nearly a concert quality pianist.
He did it.
We didn't. We just bought the piano.

BTDT
I'd second much of this advice. The Beatles have many classic and well put-together tracks. I prefer their fairly early stuff from around 1964-1966 but there are a lot of compilations out there. Other good guitar bands are around too.

If possible, take him to see some guitar bands or get them on DVD (might just need to watch the lyrics in a few).

Not many 6 year olds have the patience to practice. Let him hold the guitar however he wants. He will gradually learn a better hold. I also agree with the advice not to touch him suddenly on the shoulder or make loud noises as it will freak him out!

Just let him go at his own pace - it is not uncommon for great guitarists to be largely self-taught.


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