How long should you have your child try an instrument before allowing them to change instruments?

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Rebecca - posted on 10/26/2009

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Thanks Ladies. My daughter now will be perfroming a solo at her first concert!

Rebecca - posted on 10/06/2009

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Thanks Ladies so much for the suggestions. I followed some of your advice and told her she had to finish out the semester with her flute because it was her decision & her idea to pick the flute. Now she actually seems happier due to the fact that she says the flute makes a sound that she wants to be able to reproduce.



My parents never allowed me the opportunity to join band and I was estatic that my daughter signed up for it and that my husband and I have the opportunity to full fill that desire.



Yesterday she came home and practiced her notes and said that she might stick with the flute for the rest of the year.



Thank you all.

-Rebecca

Jodi - posted on 10/02/2009

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Quoting Alyssa:



Quoting Jodi:





Well, that's teaching them about making a commitment and following it through! 








I will be blatantly honest, I have noticed a significant change in the commitment level of  older teens and young adults these days.  And this is why, we don't hold our children accountable for their decisions.  If my kids choose to play a particular instrument (or a particular sport), I will make sure that they follow through with it.  My son used to play piano.  One day he came to me and told me he didn't really want to do it any more, he wanted to try something else.  I told him that was fine BUT he had to finish out the semester, because that's what he committed to, and because he committed to it, that's what I paid for.  Yes, I could have received a refund, but that wouldn't be teaching him anything.  Now he thinks much more carefully about something before he commits to it.  Otherwise I could have ended up with him changing his mind every month!! 








Recently, I heard of a 24 year old who had already had 70 different jobs......her attitude was "why should I have to work in a job if I don't like it".  See the pattern? People can say all they like about it being "just a musical instrument in Year 6!!". But take every opportunity you can to teach your children, and this is one of those teaching moments. Commitment is a very important life lesson.









Children can learn that lesson without being FORCED to do things that they clearly dont want to do.  My children are not forced to do anything and yet my oldest has been in karate for 3 years because he WANTS TO BE THERE...and not because i force him to in order to "teach him a lesson".  i dont agree with anything you said =)





That's fine :)  I was expressing my opinion.  You have yours.  It is my opinion that children need to learn that sometimes, you need to finish things off before starting something new, and you need to sometimes do things in life you don't like because you made a commitment :).  Neither viewpoint makes either of us wrong in our approaches.

Alyssa - posted on 10/02/2009

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Quoting Jodi:




Well, that's teaching them about making a commitment and following it through! 






I will be blatantly honest, I have noticed a significant change in the commitment level of  older teens and young adults these days.  And this is why, we don't hold our children accountable for their decisions.  If my kids choose to play a particular instrument (or a particular sport), I will make sure that they follow through with it.  My son used to play piano.  One day he came to me and told me he didn't really want to do it any more, he wanted to try something else.  I told him that was fine BUT he had to finish out the semester, because that's what he committed to, and because he committed to it, that's what I paid for.  Yes, I could have received a refund, but that wouldn't be teaching him anything.  Now he thinks much more carefully about something before he commits to it.  Otherwise I could have ended up with him changing his mind every month!! 






Recently, I heard of a 24 year old who had already had 70 different jobs......her attitude was "why should I have to work in a job if I don't like it".  See the pattern? People can say all they like about it being "just a musical instrument in Year 6!!". But take every opportunity you can to teach your children, and this is one of those teaching moments. Commitment is a very important life lesson.





Children can learn that lesson without being FORCED to do things that they clearly dont want to do.  My children are not forced to do anything and yet my oldest has been in karate for 3 years because he WANTS TO BE THERE...and not because i force him to in order to "teach him a lesson".  i dont agree with anything you said =)

Jodi - posted on 10/02/2009

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Quoting Alyssa:

I would personally never force my kids to continue on with something that they clearly dont have a passion for or dont want to be doing. I wouldnt tell my husband "sorry honey you started the piano and now you are going to finish it whether you like it or not" and i extend the same courtesy towards my children.



Well, that's teaching them about making a commitment and following it through! 



I will be blatantly honest, I have noticed a significant change in the commitment level of  older teens and young adults these days.  And this is why, we don't hold our children accountable for their decisions.  If my kids choose to play a particular instrument (or a particular sport), I will make sure that they follow through with it.  My son used to play piano.  One day he came to me and told me he didn't really want to do it any more, he wanted to try something else.  I told him that was fine BUT he had to finish out the semester, because that's what he committed to, and because he committed to it, that's what I paid for.  Yes, I could have received a refund, but that wouldn't be teaching him anything.  Now he thinks much more carefully about something before he commits to it.  Otherwise I could have ended up with him changing his mind every month!! 



Recently, I heard of a 24 year old who had already had 70 different jobs......her attitude was "why should I have to work in a job if I don't like it".  See the pattern? People can say all they like about it being "just a musical instrument in Year 6!!". But take every opportunity you can to teach your children, and this is one of those teaching moments. Commitment is a very important life lesson.

Alyssa - posted on 10/02/2009

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I would personally never force my kids to continue on with something that they clearly dont have a passion for or dont want to be doing. I wouldnt tell my husband "sorry honey you started the piano and now you are going to finish it whether you like it or not" and i extend the same courtesy towards my children.

[deleted account]

I am a music teacher that has taught middle school band. Our first two weeks of class is trying out instruments that the student has choosen the first day of class. They are all given an introduction to the instruments from our older students and then they are to create a list of three instruments they are interested in. After the two weeks they are then to settle into an instrument without being able to change until the next year.



Personally if my daughter wanted to change instruments I would give her the same option my parents gave me. We own this instrument and if you play it for the year then you can choose what ever instrument you want to play after that whether or not we own it.

Laura - posted on 10/02/2009

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Our rule is that if you start something you must finish it. That goes for sports, clubs or instruments. My kids didn't always like the practicing but they love the concerts or games.So I would say to have her finish the year and maybe she will really learn to like it.

Latrice - posted on 10/02/2009

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I'm in the same predicament. My daughter just started orchestra this week. She's in 5th grade and she chose the violin. She came home yesterday and she said that she wanted to change to the double bass. I asked her why and she said because it's big. They just started using the bows today. She came home really excited. I think she needs to spend a few weeks trying the instrument before changing her mind.

Dawn - posted on 10/02/2009

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Our rule is if you start it, you finish out the semester/season/year, whatever the case may be. We remind them that other people are depending on them and it wouldn't be fair to let those people down by quitting something they wanted to do in the first place. If it's a hobby, something they just decided to take up on their own (not organized groups or school), that's their choice to bail on, although we encourage them to keep trying to see if they really want to quit. Is band optional or did she choose to join? Did she just decide she doesn't like the instrument she picked/was assigned? If that's the case, I'd say give it at least a month to see if she changes her mind. You're in that age where she will unfortunately start changing her mind quite regularly. Hang in there :-)

Kelley - posted on 10/02/2009

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My first thought is why doesnt she like the one she's on? I played clarinet for 4 years in school and at first I hated the sound, cuz lets face it a beginner clarinet doesn't sound so good. Then my Dad got me to listen to a little Benny Goodman and I decided the clarinet wasnt so bad, I just needed to practice :) Guess I'm saying that could her like her current instrument or help when finding a new instrument to try. It I hadn't liked Clarinet because of say the reeds then switching to Sax wouldnt have been any more enjoyable, but percussion or brass might. Hope that helps.

Meghan - posted on 10/02/2009

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I would say it depends on what your child doesn't like about the instrument. 3 weeks is not long enough to teach the basics on any instrument. So I would say what my parents made me do - finish out the year. When I was in 4th grade I wanted to join band but since my family just moved to the district there were not a lot of choices left when it came to deciding. Because of my dance experience my teacher found out I was quite rhythmic and suggested percussion, No way I was going to play a boys instrument. Well, I had to finish the year and although I HATED playing I stuck with it. I stuck through it all of school into college even majoring in music. I found I was very good at something I originally despised. It was the greatest choice my parents ever made for me. That was the year I met my future husband - he was a percussionist too - though I can't make the same promise for your child :) The important thing is seeing WHY your child doesn't like it. If it is a reason that they can't get over help them find something that is a better choice, but they might just see that there is a reason that instrument found them in the first place. Good luck!

Sharon - posted on 10/02/2009

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3 weeks or a better teacher.



My dad said I HAD to learn how to play the flute, that the violin was a boys' instrument and I hated the flute - 6 weeks of lessons utterly wasted because I F'd off during my class. I hated the flute - not at all what I wanted to learn to play.



My son bounces from instrument to instrument - the rule is - he has try out a rental for a couple of weeks, before I pay for lessons or buy him an instrument. To bad my mother won't follow that rule!

Tara - posted on 10/02/2009

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Well what would you say for yourself? If you didnt like an instrument would you continue on or would you try something else to see if you like that one better?

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