Should I bother getting my kids to play musical instruments?

Jakki - posted on 11/08/2010 ( 97 moms have responded )

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I come from a family where classical music was really important and I learnt to play the viola myself for many years. But now that I have 3 kids of my own I feel that the whole thing is soooo expensive and what a big effort - finding time to take the kids to lessons (and what do you do with the other children while it's happening) as well as having to badger the kids to practice every day.

This sounds like torture! Is it really worth the effort?

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Karen - posted on 11/10/2010

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I am a professional violinist. If you think and tell your kids music is a bother than don't do it. Most schools have instrumental music programs, very inexpensive for you. If you and most especially your child love music and want to learn to play, then you need to be supportive and find the time and $.
My daughter took private cello lessons for 4 years. It became a battle so we stopped. Now she plyas trombone in school and we let her do it on her terms. Oh, and my husband is an elementary band teacher and professional trombonist. Believe me, if you think it's a bother, he'd rather not have your kid. Only do it if they love it.
And isn't homework, brushing teeth and l;aundry a bother? I do all those things too!

Renee - posted on 11/12/2010

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I say unless the child is expressing an interest themselves, there is nothing wrong with not pushing it, just like sports or anything else. However, as an adult, I wish I would have been able to do more as a child- learn an instrument, take dance or gymnastics, something. I went through a rough phase going into adulthood where I just felt like I had no talent or skills for anything. My advice- when they get to middle school, put them in band instead of choir (most have to do one or the other for at least one year). Let them choose their instrument and find out if they like it, have a hidden talent, and then let it be their choice to continue or quit after the required years are done. That is what we did with my daughter going into 6th grade. She got the clarinet, she is happy she knows how to play, and she enjoys it for the most part, but she has no passion for it. She has done it for 2 years now and has decided that next year (since it will be optional) she doesn't want to do it anymore. Everyone wins, she got the experience, we only had to pay for instrument rental (about $35/month), she gained a skill and learned to find out what she likes and make decisions for herself. Just remember, what's right for one is not right for all, it's ultimately what works best for you and your children.

Alisha - posted on 11/18/2010

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(Make practice fun, like they are playing in a recital for you and other family members. Tell them the dog/cat wants to hear it too and if you don't have one use a stuffed animal!)

Fiona - posted on 11/12/2010

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Absolutely. Music is a fantastic tool for so many reasons. It's basis is in maths. If a child is good at music, they are generally good at maths. If they aren't, music can only help.

Music also requires them to integrate both sides of their brains. Logic - follow the notes on the page and Creative - express the feelings the music evokes. Finally, it is something they can see results for each week. A good teacher will be able to ensure they feel like they are achieving.

At the beginning it is hard work but there are ways and means around this. Use treates, sticker charts and above all else make it part of their routine. My kids know that as soon as breakfast is over, they have to do their practice. Yes I still have to remind them occassionally but usually only when our routine is out of wack. Also, if you "practice" simple pieces that they can imagine themselves playing they will be move motivated to do the practice.

As far as expense goes, look for group lessons initially. This cuts down on the money being outlaid and you may even be able to incorporate all three kids in the same lesson - depending on their ages. Also the school should have a music program in which you can enrol them. This will alleviate the need to transport them anywhere. There are also programs that will teach the basics of music but from a different genre e.g. pop, rock, etc. My little one learns guitar and initially we looked at cords however, this wasn't working well so we changed to specific notes. Eventually he will learn it all but at the moment he is having success and feels like he is achieving.

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Music and math use the same neuropathways in the brain and research has proven that children that have formal musical instruction score better in math.

Just a little FYI.

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Shawnn - posted on 09/19/2013

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Wow, Syl, still on the high horse, I see. I responded to a post on the page, regardless of who responded before me.

Don't flatter yourself, honey. Your opinion is your opinion, mine is mine. If you feel like forcing your kids to do something, and obviously you do, that's YOUR family, not mine.

I spent WAY too much time watching my directors' time be wasted by students who didn't want to be there and were forced by their parents. I have WAY too much respect for musical directors to force them to waste time if my kid doesn't want to make their time worthwhile.

But, you did make me giggle. Thanks for that hon! ;-)

Syl - posted on 09/18/2013

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Seems like you just want to argue with me. That's pretty funny. Out of 100's of thousand posts you find mine I posted on some topic I didn't realize was discussed 3 years(!) ago, you follow me here and disagree just to disagree? Hmmm.

Shawnn - posted on 09/18/2013

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If they don't express an interest, it is not healthy to force them, no matter WHAT some parents think. Trying to "relive" the experience through them because you feel you "missed out" is, IMHO, ridiculous.

And, even if they DO express an interest, but aren't interested in practicing, then they're only wasting the instructor's time, and your money.

Syl - posted on 09/18/2013

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I missed out on learning to play an instrument. As an adult, it's one of my biggest regrets. My mother signed me up for piano, I went 2 or 3 times and I didn't like it. She let me quit, just like with anything else. She wasn't firm about anything, ever.
I signed up my kids for piano at the ages of 7 and 9, sort of to "fix" my missing out on it. They both wanted to quit in the first few months. I forced them to stick with it. They are both in the school band also. My older one threw her flute down after getting frustrated with it in the beginning and her dad told her she can not do band anymore. I took her back to the teacher and asked her if there was an easier instrument to play. She has been playing clarinet for 7 years now and is section leader in her band. My younger one teaches little kids to play piano and gets paid, she is 13. They have been playing piano for 6 years. If there is one thing I can take away as a punishment or have leverage with, that's their piano lessons. They LOVE playing and would never stop now. My younger one learned to play flute, oboe, guitar, piano, mallets and now teaching herself saxophone. She wants to become a music teacher. It opened up a whole new world to them. Kids who play music tend to do much better in school an have very little issues with bad behavior, drugs, or wrong company. Well worth the effort. It makes them and me proud when they are complimented on their skills. Not too many kids play piano around here, so they always have an audience with jaws dropped when they play the latest hits on the school piano at lunch time:)

Nelly - posted on 12/05/2010

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if its something they want to do then as parents we MUST make the effort if it's for you then it will be torture because its against their will. My 16 year old enjoys playing the piano, my 14 year old takes dance class my 12 year old plays drums and my 10 year old enjoys playing guitar. On Saturdays they all go to swimming lessons that was the only extra curricular activity that wasn't an option

Julie - posted on 11/29/2010

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I wouldn't force my child against their will and cause conflict in the home. That is no fun for anyone!! My daughter asked if she could play, and she practices without me ever asking her too so it's not torture in this home. If it were, I would definitely drop the whole thing. Her elementary school offered lessons right in school for free. Also we have a music store, where you can make payments to buy an intrument. It was a rent-to-own deal. And then we traded it in when she needed a bigger size. Maybe you could check into that. If your child shows no interest at all, then don't torture yourself. They probably have different interests. Go with whatever drives them and then nuture that gift or talent and help it to grow.

Patty - posted on 11/23/2010

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No, you shouldn't decide that they should play instrucments...let them decide if they are interested on their own. My son recently started piano at 11 yrs old and loves it,we cannot get him off the piano, he will play for 2 hours a day! But my other 2, not interested in the least.

Jane - posted on 11/22/2010

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renting instruments is a lot cheaper and if your kids decide they hate it, you just turn it back in. Some music stores offer lessons that are reasonably priced as well. Or wait until they can play in school. Its definately worth it though.

Annie - posted on 11/21/2010

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My son gets great satisfaction in knowing that he alone completed it. Also, the pathways that are opened in the brain from music will help make it easier to learn other languages.

Glenda - posted on 11/20/2010

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First off, it sounds like you have already convinced yourself that it is NOT worth your time, and that maybe you might not have the time for it, I think the love of music is the jumping off point, my sons school provides free violin lessons, and he expressed an enterest in playing he is 8, I could have started him sooner, but felt like he should be a bit older. He is enjoying it, and I only have to provide the instument (rental), and my oldest 15, never wanted to play, so I would encourage it, especially if you have a musicical family background, and nuture them, I would not force it, there needs to be a desire, I play piano, we didnt have money, but my mom scraped up enough to get me lessons, and purchase and old upright piano, I was in heaven!! but I wanted to learn. There must be someone who can help you with the other kids, while you attend lessons, good luck, and be patient, you will know if there is potential there, and music provides so much to ones character, and it helps with other areas of learning, like math. Hope this helps.

Carolyn - posted on 11/20/2010

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I would really encourage them but not overly push. It helps them understand math; science and cultures. Classical music mhas wonderful historical roots. Once they get to 10 or 12 give them choices about continuing and if they choose to continue make sure they know they have committed for time they signed up for or prepaid for.

Lesley - posted on 11/19/2010

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hI THERE i CAN UNDERSTAND THE JUGGLE OF 3 KIDS BUT i THINK MUSIC EXPOSURE IS WONDERFUL, MAKES THEM MORE ROUNDED PEOPLE. tHEY NEVER HAVE4 TO BE BRILLIANT AT IT BUT AS LONG AS THEY TRY

Delfrieda - posted on 11/19/2010

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I allowed my two oldest children to determine what instrument they want to play when the reached 5th grade. Their school offers an outstanding program that teachs the basic skills and they perform in year concerts. They practice during school (so not toting the kids to practice). They are also given a second instrument to bring home to practice with. The total rental for both instruments, lessons, and concert is $25.00 for the school year. If they perform well...they are given the opportunity to audition for the district wide honors orchestra. This program is so impressive my two younger children can not wait until they are able to join!! This is a cheap and very convenient program. Keep looking you may be able to find something similar if not in your child's school maybe in an afterschool program....just a thought.

Karen - posted on 11/19/2010

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Hi Jakki, I have a college degree in music ed. My father taught me and 2 other siblings to play the piano. When I went to college I majored in pipe organ and minored in voice. My son is adhd and could not pay attention for to long so that was a bust. I taught my daughter for a while and she did not want to practice but always want new material that she never would work on. I stopped teaching them. Now my daughter who is seventeen wants me to teach her again and I definitely will try with her again. I'm not going to go through getting on her case to practice. If she really wants to do that, then she will practice. As a child, I was very disiplined as most kids were back when I was a child. I refuse to work with anyone that wants to master anything in a day. Hopefully they will grow up and take the bull by the horns. 17 is not a bad age to start. My father started to play piano at 17 adn went on to Juliard and then to NYU after he served his country.

Aisha - posted on 11/19/2010

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I believe that once they are in middle school, it is important for them to either play an instrument in the band or be in the choir. Music makes a huge difference in a kids life, and they learn so much from the experience. Even if they do not continue past 8th grade, I think it is very important, not only because of the learning of how to read music and notes, but also because it gives them "ownership" in a group activity. I don't think it is necessary to have them learn in elementary school (I think most schools do the recorder at the school). Lots of schools offer lessons from tutors right at the school, so that can make it a little easier. Pick an instrument that is not that expensive, and opt for the rental because you can always switch instruments if needed and not lose your investment.

Carrie - posted on 11/19/2010

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As a Math teacher I will tell you knowing how to read and play music is VERY beneficial to a child in MULTIPLE ways. Maybe it will feel like torture to do all the transportation aspects of it. Is it possible for your children to learn to play in school. My son's great grandfather plays 11 instruments and I will be making sure he learns at least the violin. He wants to play happy birthday to his papa on 11-11-11 as papa turns 100. So its something he is wanting to do right now.

Arleen - posted on 11/19/2010

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I have 3 kids, 19, 10, and 4 and they all love music. My 19 yr. old daughter was introduced to playing an instrument in Middle School where she started playing the Baritone. In HS she joined the marching band and loved it and now a Sophmore in College, she's realizing that she needs music in her life and is going to be changing her major to music next year. My 10 yr. old, has been playing the clarinet in school for 3 yrs now and loves it. She played at NYSSMA last spring and got a perfect score and was just chosen to perform at an All County Concert in January. My son was born into the Guitar Hero revolution and has always had music in his life. He has music in his head from the minute he wakes up to the second he falls asleep. We started him with piano lessons early this year when he was only 3 1/2 and I can't believe how much and how easily he learns new scales, chords and songs. He still has a little trouble reading the music, but he's 4! He also (after months of asking) just started drum lessons last week and did really well his first week. He loves it and gets so much from music, all my kids do. We don't practice every day, sometimes every other day. It definitely has to be something they want to do, but it's totally worth it.

Danielle - posted on 11/19/2010

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It is good for them to learn and instrument, however, forcing them to do so is not. I think it's best to wait for them to be old enough to do it in school (hopefully your district offers it). They get their lessons there and you can just rent an instrument instead of buying one. The only thing is you'd have to make sure they practice. I have an 13 yr old and an 11 yr old and they both play an instrument. They started in the 4th grade. My 13 yr old loves to play( he plays the trombone). My 11 yr old, not so much. She plays the cello. It is not a good idea to force them because they won't enjoy it and won't reap the benefits.

Amanda - posted on 11/19/2010

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as long as the efforts you make are recognized there are no statements of "too much work". Don't spread yourself thin, but the children should have the options to opportunities that are available....You could organize it that the eldest babysits if legal to do so, or that the music class cooridinates with the other kids activities....I always remind my girls that it may seem like someone is getting more than the other but not in reality....like she may be doing this now but she was not doing anything when you were doing ______.....Also you could look into community funding groups that help pay for activities. My daughter takes violin lessons and she has shown improvements in a lot of areas, including academic, emotionally, and even in how she preforms day to day activities

Kathy - posted on 11/19/2010

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I say yes, it's worth the effort. I have a 6th grader and 5th grader. They both started sports at an early age, because that's what was available, and it's what our community does with young kids. Very few music opportunities for little ones. My 6th grader fought me tooth and nail for 2 years on playing the sax. Now that he's in a great band program, he actually enjoys the social aspect of it and has quit complaining. My 5th grader is a talented trumpet player, and as he gets older I see that maybe his place in the social network of school will be in the theater/music department. He's also a good athlete. So, without giving him the opportunity to try something different, and making him stick with it until he could judge if he found it fulfilling, we would never have seen this other side of his talents and interests. I think he will have a very different path in school, because he is both active in sports, and plays an instrument.

Klara - posted on 11/19/2010

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I agree. We made our daughter give piano an honest effort too- 1 1/2 yrs. before quitting. Not good to allow them to start and then quit activities.Sports we do a whole season, etc. Once your invested, you follow through for that season or school year, or whatever.

Klara - posted on 11/19/2010

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My personal experience is that if your kids really wanna do it, give them the chance (if possible), but if you have to badger them to do it, its not worth it for them or you! It should not be a chore, it should be a way of expression and enjoyment. My oldest took 1 1/2 yrs. of piano and we fought after the first few weeks and decided it just wasn't worth it. She then decided on her own not to take grade school band because of this. We reminded her she'd have to make time to practice and we were NOT going to hound her, and she decided to quit before it started. My 5yo really enjoys music, so may/may not take lessons. However, we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Each kid is different with different interests, so each one has to be decided individually. I think its a great thing IF they wanna do it and you can afford it. But, its not something worth breaking the bank or your child over. Hope this helps. Remember that things like this use a different area of the brain, so from that perspective would be great, but you are the best judge of your child!

Sarah - posted on 11/18/2010

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I'm a piano teacher of both private lessons and group lessons and agree entirely that if you don;t have the right attitude it just makes it hard for the children to learn. The children enjoy it soooo much more if they do a little bit of practice each week, it doesn't have to be a lot. They then progress quicker and can do the "cool" pieces and feel a great sense of achievement. If it's too pricey many schools have a music program that's cheaper or some music school teach group lessons that are cheaper also. My children obvioulsly learn piano, but at school they also both play Trumpet and Clarinet, and my eldest has now also picked up Guitar.
When I was a kid and my parents paid for me and my 4 brothers and sisters to learn music, my sister and I continued for years but our brothers gave up and have regreted it as adults. My husband always wishes he'd been given the opportunity to learn an instrument.

Jakki - posted on 11/18/2010

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You are an impressive bunch of mums! So well organised and committed to doing the best for your kids!

I am inspired! I'm sure the hardest part is the first few months and after that it will get easier as the kids get into a routine and learn how to do their practice on their own. So we're definitely going to persevere. Thanks for your comments.

Ruchi - posted on 11/18/2010

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I can understand handling three children at the same time and giving each of them an instrument to play with . But playing an instrument is not just a hobby but it will be a key factor in their life. Playing an instrument makes children smarter. They will have something to fall back to earn money if they ever needed that extra cash. It keeps them grounded . My daughter is 4 and she learns the piano. Her lessons are in the evening so she hates going to them as it takes her time away from her friends at park.!but I know she is going to thank me when she grows older

Kelly - posted on 11/18/2010

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Right now I'm listening to my 7 year old play "Jingle Bells" on her violin. She has been playing since age 4. My older daughter is 9 and also plays violin for the past 4 years. They both began cello lessons in April. My oldest plays french horn. He began playing 4 1/2 years ago. The decision to play an instrument has to be made by the child. And, yes, they have to make the commitment to practice. My kids do their homework, then practice for 1/2 hour (sometimes I have all 3 practicing at the same time in different rooms). I don't know if their interest in playing an instrument is due to the fact that they listen to me play (piano and several others). We have set up the lessons so they are at the same times--30 minutes each for the girls and 1 hour for my son. Because the girls both play violin and cello, they have a split lesson. Some instructors will start young children with a 15 minute lesson and build up to 30 minutes. You can also rent an instrument just in case they lose interest. I don't push my kids to practice.....I just tell them that their instructor will know they didn't practice and will let them know that he knows. We also picked a "goal" song in the book and they are happy when they get to it. My son uses a program called Smart Music for school (one year subscription is about $30). It's a great tool for an older child. You may want to visit a music store that offers lessons and let your child talk to an instructor to know what is expected.

Syuda - posted on 11/18/2010

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If your kids REALLY want to play, it could be worth the effort on your part. If they could care less, then I could see it being a waste of time and money. If you can, have your husband help out in taking them to practice and/or connect with other moms whos kids also play instruments and ask about taking turns carpooling the kids to practice. Having children in itself is a sacrificial job and this is all a part of the package. In a nutshell, never force a child to do anything they don't really want to do, but if they are truly interested in it, it will help their self-esteem and pay off in the long run. Good luck =)

Alisha - posted on 11/18/2010

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If one or more of your children are interested than I would say do it! It teaches them discipline because they have to be consistent in practicing so I'd say it's worth it! Take all the kids along when one goes for a lesson, usually you don't go in there during the lesson but I guess it would depend on where the lessons are. I'd say try it, but if you have a bad attitude so will they!

Mindy - posted on 11/18/2010

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Yes without a doubt! Music its' self triggers a part of the brain that enhances learning ablity and when you actually learn to play one just does that much more.

Sherri - posted on 11/18/2010

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We have a great music in school and that is where my son learned to play the saxophone. He has been playing for the past 4 yrs. It is free and is held during school hours.

Brenda - posted on 11/18/2010

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My parents made me learn to play a musical instrument. I began with the piano at age 6. I hated it. However, when I was a bit older, our school had a band and I wanted to play the saxophone and loved it. My parents started me on a rented instrument for the 1st year and then purchased my own saxophone when they saw I was really determined to stick with it. I also got into singing with a choir and then moved on with singing in a professional choir. With my own children, I've given them the choice to try something. The oldest flat refuses and the youngest piddles with my saxophone and a pair of drum sticks. I have enough music knowledge that I have started teaching him the beginnings, note recognition, technique, ect. Since you, yourself have music knowledge start with the basics and get a feel for who is and who isn't interested. You should be able to tell pretty quick before you invest in instruments and lessons. Also, don't be afraid to check with the person giving lessons and tell them your fears about your child not continuing and possibly wanting to rent an instrument. This is a lot more common than you think. Best of luck to you!

Desiree - posted on 11/18/2010

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My greatest regret was never learning to read music. I promised myself that when my kids were old enough they would learn. I found that it helped my son to concentrate and discipline to do things and keep with it.

My daughter plays the violin and my son has decided to learn the cello.(he already plays the piano). I work a full day and make a plan when they have class. I have no problem with it, I love to hear them practice and listen to their efforts. They have realised that all the work that they have put into it is all worth while.

Nancy - posted on 11/18/2010

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Many communities have a drum and bugle corp. that is probably dying for new members. The great thing about joining a corp., is that it virtually costs nothing, they learn to play with others and make friends at the same time, they provide private and group lessons for free, and your child learns to read music. My 9 and 12 year old sons love playing trumpet in their corp. If it's a non-profit, which most are, they can also get their community service hours in during fund raising months. Not to mention, the parades they participate in are so wonderful and fun. I had a passion for playing the piano and have fallen back on giving piano lessons many times in my life. I love the fact that my parents encouraged me to play. If they had forced me to play, however, I may have rebelled and perhaps wouldn't love it so much today. I think if a child is interested in playing an instrument, they will let you know. Even if they start playing as a teen, they can be fantastic, they don't have to start at age 6.

Basia - posted on 11/18/2010

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I don't think you should insist they learn an instrument but if there is an interest it would be well worth the effort you would have to put in. I have four kids and they have not shown an interest in mastering an instrument but we have several instruments at home they can fiddle with; guitar, bass, piano, flute, recorder. One of my daughters did take guitar as a class at school but that is as far as that went.

Jennifer - posted on 11/18/2010

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My daughter is 9 and begged for years to take piano lessons but with the other thinks she done I thought it would be to much. Last year we told her to pick 2 activities she wanted to do and that was it. She decided on gymnastics and piano. Her teacher said she was very good and she seemed to like it at first but didn't like to practice. After the recitial she decided she didn't want to do it anymore and that fine with us. We did have to but her music books and keyboard so they are there if she wants to practice on her own later. I think you should ask your kids what they want to do. In our house we have a rule: You are not allowed to quit once money has exchanged hands. However if you don't want to do it the next year then that's fine.

KRISTEN - posted on 11/18/2010

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My kids play in the school band.They love it.I reaped the benefits of it this morning when my loving daughter played happy birthday to me on her clarinet. My son has Asperger's syndrome & when we watched his first concert we all had to try not to laugh,cause he was jamming along as he was playing his flute.I don't have to argue with him to practice,it's the only thing I don't have to argue with him to do.I understand the cost. I'm working 2 jobs right now.Maybe u could check out a music store & see if they have rentals.If u do,I would let the kids pick the instrument & they have lessons on book,tape & don't forget the internet.Good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 11/18/2010

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i let my son join the school band when he got old enough here and now i let him play what ever just so he practices and he know plays 2 instruments

and i am a single parent with very little income and i think that band help round your child's life out it gives them away to express themselves and look at resale shops you can sometimes get instruments there that is how i got my sons clarinet and Walmart had a kids guitar and it was only 30 i bought him it and know he plays both so yes you can find instruments at Walmart

Angela - posted on 11/18/2010

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I have played Viola for almost 20 years now.... My mom's deal when I started was a kind of wait and see policy... I play for 3 years before I started private lessons.... Then when I hit 5 years is when she ordered me a viola from Violin House of Weaver... It was a slow progression that as long as I stayed with it, she supported and put more money into it.
Now, I have 4 kids, my husband plays bass guitar and he was in a rock band in Detroit for 20 years. We also homeschool, and we have made music a big deal in our house. Playing an instrument isn't a bother unless you harbor that attitude... And that attitude carries down to your children and then we end up with leaders, like we have now, that pull all funding from the music and arts programs in schools.... Let your kids choose if they want to play, and if so, have it be an instrument they can play at school at first.... As they get more serious, you put more time and money into it....

Amy - posted on 11/17/2010

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I would wait until their elementary school offers band, orchestra or choir. I began the violin in 5th grade, flute in 6th, and saxophone in 11th. There have been several studies that show that kids that learn "Fine arts" such as music do better in subjects such as math and science. It rounds out their education. That, and they develope a whole new set of friends.

Grace - posted on 11/17/2010

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Anything to wanna help, support and motivate our kids to have a brighter future is surely an investment & you cannot put a price tag on their happiness. However, like any decision, you need to consider a lot of factors as many mentioned here. Otherwise, you won't enjoy it, your child won't enjoy it (picking up it's a burden for you etc) and it will just be unpleasant experience instead of a pleasant learning experience for both of you. If you decide to support your child's interests, you will need to really "support" her for as long as she's into it. She/he shouldn't ever feel burdened by trying to perform or do well bec u need a return on your investment. I think that any type of activity shld not just be all abt work but also abt having fun. It's the fun part that will keep her/him interested. Kind Regards.

Kerry - posted on 11/17/2010

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I personally never played an instrument but from the time my daughter was in kindergarten she was asking for violin lessons. I really didn't take her seriously since she liked to do so many things plus she was already involved in other things. By third grade she was still asking to do it. We were able to find an instructor that comes to our house (6.00 more a week) and we rent the instrument since we know she will grow plus I didn't want to invest in something that may be a phase. A year later, I am glad we did it. I wouldn't have done this if she hadn't been so insistent on it though. Because of that, she is a lot more vested and is more compelled to practice. However, there are weeks when she doesn't want to practice and I remind her that it was her choice and we will stop when she doesn't want to put in the time.

Marcelle - posted on 11/17/2010

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What a lot of different responses. I would say Try give it a go



1) It is really important for children to have one really important interest before they get to their teens.

2) The sooner you try it the sooner you'll know whether it is really going to be a big expense. Yamaha or other classes with multiple children at one time are relatively inexpensive.

3) The other children can learn to co-operate / read / play quietly while one child is at a lesson and you get some reading time.

4) Yes, practice needs to be made important for a while. You'll know soon enough if it is a thing they really enjoy, and it shows them that getting skill takes practice.



In my case

Daughter started with music on the lap at nine months, piano shared classes at three which she now does (12 years later) as private lessons, the shared classes lasted about 4 years. She plays four instruments, does grade exams, and really has got the bug. She's not taking lessons at the moment, but I'm sure that will start again. Costs a fortune, especially as good instruments are now becoming important, but such is life. She loves performing and practices when she knows she needs to.



Son tried the shared piano lessons at four, lasted six months. Tried violon (looks wrong) at six, lasted eighteen months. He prefers soccer (football).



It is fine, there is something they both love to do. Early years the one had to amuse themselves during the other's lessons / practice.



Good luck.

Angela - posted on 11/17/2010

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I have three kids myself, and pay 78 bucks a week for lessons for all three. I'm on a limited income, and a single mother, but it's important to me and the kids enjoy it, so yes, I think it's well worth it. Incidentally, I don't force them to practice everyday. If I did, I'm sure the battles would force a quit. I think it's more important they stick with it than to fight with them about frequency. I started the private lessons when they were 5, 7 and 9 and they are now 7, 9, and 11. The eldest plays guitar and the two younger play piano. My daughter (the middle) seems the most interested and practices very consistantly. The boys less so, but are doing very well none the less. I was blessed with guitar lessons for 10 years and you never know when it comes in handy! A great skill and hobby to have. WAAAAAYYYY more useful than sports!!!!!!!

Grace - posted on 11/17/2010

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My opinion: It depends. Is your child really interested in learning or is he/she only interested bec they see others are and like th idea of being able to play one bec they see their peers or fave celebrity playing a guitar or drums etc... Musical talents like other talents(and interests like sports) I believe cannot be forced on children. Anyone can learn any skill like playing provided they have enough dedication, commitment and desire to. However, staying interested, dedicated and committed is not as easy. Then again, playing for pleasure or hobby (not necessarily intending for it to be a career later on) is actually beneficial for kids. I have seen parents who make the assumption that their kids can and shld be competitive by enrolling them in such and such lessons w/o even finding out if the kid/s are interested. In the long run, My daughter became very interested with flute around Yr 4 and decided by herself she wants to learn playing it. She took it upon herself to talk to her music teacher, joined the school band and start playing. I can't afford private lessons but for a few dollars and because her music teacher immediately saw talent. She encouraged my daughter and guided her through her new found adventure. Needless to say, within a year my daughter was playing like a pro and getting the music awards, @ least 3 yrs in a row until we moved down down under last yr. She was consistently voted by her peers/band mates to be the best. I did not buy any new instrument. We rented a used one which eventually we ended up owning. She's also in tons of sports which she chose herself. I've always stood on the sidelines and supported her interests. NEVER pushing or forcing her to do anything. So far, each activity she's tried she stayed in and does so well. We need to accept reality that not all kids are born with the same talents but so what? The impt thing to do is help your child find her/his interests, encourage and support her. To some parents esp those w/ money, they tend to be the ones competitive disregarding the impt fact the the child needs to be happy to enjoy what he/she does and actually stay interested in the activity and develop the skills. NEVER compare a child to another child. It is worth the effort when you see your child's happy face as he/she enjoys what he/she does and proudly shows off his/her newfound or newly developed skills. I didn't have to badger my daughter with practicing etc... She just picks up her flute & plays, everyday and even prints her own free music from the internet. Now, she's so good with the flute, she wants to take up clarinet or some other wind instrument. You can negotiate w/ your child if he/she is really interested. Explain to him/her what's involved: money, time, effort etc.. and what is expected of him/her. If you can find someone like the music teacher to teach your child for little esp if the teacher sees talent & determination, they may even offer free lessons. Also, consider your child's age and capacity/ability to learn. Some kids learn how to read notes easily, I know I never got round to being as good as my daughter and I was never interested in music, lol. I felt i "had" to in school bec it was a subject I needed to pass. Can you really afford it? It's not a one off cost. Unless you have enough to put aside for lessons (how much needed depends on how the child learns), purchase/rent and maintenance of the instrument, transpo back and forth to house, school and or place of lessons. I never had problems w/ my daughter. She never complained abt being tired, this & that bec I explained to her what it will take and entail from her if she is determined to learn. As far as the other kids go, if they're old enough to understand, maybe you can sit down with them and try to work out a schedule/routine. If they're toddlers, preschoolers age, maybe organise a family member or friend to look after them on the days of lessons. After school care or child care is another cost if not already part of your exisiting budget. Also, be sure you trust the one teaching privately enough if you plan to leave your child w/ him/her for an hour or so. Don't forget to consider yourself too. There's no such thing as supermoms. You need time to relax and breathe. Ask yourself if you can truly handle this, again, it's not a one day one off thing. If it is, then it's not worth spending all the time, money and effort even considering it. Maybe you can take your child for a couple of trial lessons (if there's anywhere or anyone that offers it) and see if he/she actually enjoys it or drops it as quickly as they thought abt it when they feel it's not something they like. Good luck.

Katherine - posted on 11/17/2010

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wow... I think Id ask the kids.... maybe put them all in a dance class to see if they even like music... but as far as making them - id say no... kids will find their thing...

Jennifer - posted on 11/17/2010

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I played the clarinet myself for 5 yrs and quit b/c the teacher had unreasonable standards and a horrible disposition. My daughter, 11, just started playing and really looks forward to her lessons. It seems to depend on the child and the teacher. If they enjoy it, let them but if they don't let them find something they are motivated to do for extracurricular activities. Every child is different.

Brenda - posted on 11/17/2010

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Dont torture them only get them an instrument if they seem interested and bugg u about it for a while my daughter is 7 and every time I bring up a guitar her eyes light up so I think thats what she's getting for christmas I have a friend that plays guitar and is willing to teach her one on one and will do it for a fraction of the cost and at my house if you have any friends that play instruments have them bring them around the kids and maybe show them how to hold the instrument and care for it since you play an instrument maybe you can try using it to bond with your kids?

Vicki - posted on 11/17/2010

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You would be the best judge of that. Do they like to make music? Do they show an interest in learning the notes or just making their own music? Have they asked for lessons? I tried to get my son to take guitar lessons...the guitar is beautiful but it sits because he wasn't or isn't interested in taking time to learn to play, he just wants the option to play. He received a used keyboard from a family friend, he will sit around and make his own songs...not so great, but it makes him happy. I put out some sheet music; in music class (elementary) he learned to read some notes. If he shows interest I will re enroll him in music class. Music appreciation is every bit as important as making music. Not every one can appreciate and be moved by a beautiful piece of music, much like not every one has the aptitude or interest in making music. Let your children and heart guide you on this.

Carrie - posted on 11/17/2010

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If they each play a different instrument then you can probably get them in lessons at the same time (this gives you some free time to yourself :-)) My kids are 5 and 7 and just started drums and piano, the 5 year old is not liking to practice but the 7 yr old (1st grade) is doing really well at practice. Starting them young will help them in all aspects of life I believe. It is expensive, but definitely worth it, they will thank you later :-)

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