Do You Know The No. 1 Reason Why Piano Lessons For Kids Should Include Music Theory?

Music Theory is an essential component in any program consisting of piano or music lessons for kids, unfortunately however, not all programs include this vital aspect and in this article I tell you how detrimental it can be to the child and what you can do about it.

If you or your child learned music in the past, I’m sure there was a time that you wondered if learning music theory was optional.

 

 

Some teachers insist that kids learning to play the piano or any other instrument for that matter learn music theory. Likewise, there are many teachers out there who simply do not teach their students music theory.

 

 

Similarly, there are scores of parents who don’t want their kids to learn music theory. This is sometimes because it costs extra to teach music theory, and at other times it is because it is seen as useless and in many cases because there is a severe shortage of teachers who can actually help make music theory fun.

 

 

Thus, this all results in kids either hating music theory because it is taught in such a boring manner, or that they simply refuse to learn because they feel that learning music should be fun and not be clouded by something as tedious as learning music theory.

 

 

As a child, I too hated music theory and simply could not understand why I had to learn music theory. However, as I grew up I came to understand the importance of music theory and how it helped me master the instrument and become a better musician.

 

 

There are tons of myths out there about why you should not learn music theory or why it is a waste of time and I’m sure you’ve heard at least a few of them.

  • Learning music theory will inhibit natural learning
  • Learning music theory will be tedious and your child will give up learning music because of it.
  • Learning music theory will limit your child’s ability to play by ear.
  • Learning music theory is boring.
  • If you want to play an instrument for fun, then there is no need to learn music theory.
  • World-class players never learned any music theory they developed their ear and became great at it.

 

 

….and there are many more reasons why most people tell you not to learn music theory.

 

 

But, I’m here to tell you that all of those are myths.

 

 

Natural learning can only be enhanced and speeded up by learning music theory not inhibited.

 

 

If taught properly music theory will make learning to play the piano, or any other instrument much more quicker and enjoyable. What is more, kids would love their music lessons if they are taught music theory in a fun and easy to learn manner.

 

 

Contrary to the myth, learning music theory will not limit your child’s ability to play by ear, but speed it up by teaching your child the technicalities and appealing to your child’s auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles.

 

 

As I stated before, if taught properly by a professional teacher, music theory can be really fun and engaging.

 

 

Finally, the myth that world class players never learned any music theory is absolutely untrue. Yes, it is true that many of them were born with the natural talent, but they had to learn their craft and refine it and music theory played a very important role in all of that and helping them master the instruments. Also remember that unless they learned music theory, they would not have been able to write down their compositions and share it with the world.

 

 

So, as you can see, the myths about music theory are just that, they are myths, and they are not true.

 

 

So does that make it necessary for kids to learn music theory while following piano or any other music lessons?

 

 

It doesn’t make it necessary. No.

 

 

You and your child can still choose not to learn music theory, but I have to be clear here.

 

 

Research does indicate that music theory amongst everything else helps give your child the ability to master the instrument he/she is learning at a faster pace and most importantly it helps your child to learn more than one instrument, with relative ease.

 

 

Now how can you say no to that?

 

 

Isn’t it, your dream like it is every parent’s dream to see their child learn to love and enjoy music, master an instrument and possibly play more than one instrument?

 

 

So, now that you know the number one reason why your child needs to learn music theory, what are you going to do, about it?

 

 

If your child is already learning piano or any other instrument, but not learning music theory, you can join my Music Theory only program and get started today. On the other hand, if you want your child to learn an instrument while learning music theory, then check out my Teach Your Child Piano (1-year Homeschool Curriculum).

6 Absolute ‘Must Know’ Ways To Reduce Frustration When Kids Learn To Play The Piano

Frustration with Learning To Play Piano is the number one cause why many kids give up learning piano in the first two years. In this article I tell you how you can stop this from happening.

As a teacher, one of my favourite aspects of teaching is welcoming a beginner student and just basking in the enthusiasm they show for learning to play the piano on that first day.

 

Nothing can ever compare to the sheer joy that kids radiate on that first day of piano lessons.

 

Unfortunately, I have always found that while the enthusiasm does last for a while it doesn’t always last long enough to help them get over the difficult and most challenging aspects of learning to play the piano.

 

While many kids tend to push through the lack of motivation and stick with it, there are many more that simply do it because their parents are forcing them to. As I have talked about many times on this page, the piano is the easiest instrument to play at first but the hardest to master in the end.

 

As a result, unless a child has the sheer grit and determination and an undying love for playing the piano, often that initial enthusiasm of learning to play the piano does not linger very long and with it disappears the aspiration of learning to play the piano in the long term

 

This phenomenon continues to happen with a majority of kids who attend piano lessons (irrespective of how interesting or boring the music teacher makes the lessons). It is for this reason that I thought it would be fantastic if I could give you some specific advice on what you could do as a parent to help reduce the frustration your child feels and ensure that he/she sticks with it in the long run.

 

 

Practice Is About Progress Not Perfection

As I have stated on many different occasions, one of the main reasons children hate music practice is because they think that they have to get it correct the first time or even the second time and so on. However, nothing can be further from the truth.

 

Realistically practice should be about progress and not about perfection.

 

As a parent if you are able to look through the imperfections and commend your child for the progress he/she is making then, that alone will go a long way to help your child to practice more often and in turn it will make your child a better musician, which will then increase his/her level of motivation. In a previous article, I discussed how you should focus on progress rather than perfection, you can read it here and gain more insights into how to do this.

 

 

Develop A Growth Mindset In Your Child

This is something I learned from the renowned Carol Dweck to who I will be ever grateful for coining this term. In essence, this means that we should not give up on something simply because we think we are bad at it, but rather should keep at it and celebrate the fact that we are becoming better and can improve in the long term.

 

So, if you have a child who feels that he or she is not good at piano, then you should explain that with practice he/she can get better and while he/she might not be an overnight success (because there is no such thing) simply becoming a tiny bit better than he already is would be a huge victory. What is more, he can continue to build on each small victory until he gets to his ultimate goal.

 

 

Engage Visual, Auditory And Kinesthetic Senses

Some kids are visual learners, others are auditory learners and still others learn by doing things and through touching and feeling. When learning doesn’t engage our primary style of learning or specific senses that we are more attuned to, we tend to give up on learning and disengage.

 

Do you know your child’s learning style?

 

Take a few moments or even a few days to find out what his/her learning style is and what style would engage him the most.

 

When learning music you can engage all the different styles such as sight reading (visual), listening (auditory) and playing the instrument (Kinesthetic), you can also play a variety of musical games, which will help to engage your child further and make learning music more engaging, more fun and less tedious.

 

 

Take A Multi-Pronged Approach

There is a common myth out there that learning music theory is not required for kids who are learning for fun. I have discussed this many times on this blog and you can read this article I wrote on the benefits of learning music theory.

 

When you take a multi-pronged approach such as playing an instrument and learning music theory alongside it, children understand what they see and hear better and that helps increase retention and helps them master the instrument sooner, thus reducing the frustrations that they feel when they are unable to play as well as they want to.

 

 

It’s OK To Make Mistakes

Somehow many students learning to play piano and even piano parents tend to think that it is wrong to make mistakes. Simply because you see master musicians playing without making mistakes, doesn’t mean that your child has to do so as well.

 

In fact, even master musicians make mistakes when performing but they don’t let that get in their way and they are able to come back from it so rapidly that the audience doesn’t even realise that they made a mistake.

 

Also, you have to remember that people, who haven’t made mistakes, haven’t made anything in their lives.

 

Remember the story of Thomas Edison who said he didn’t make 10,000 mistakes but rather learned 10,000 different ways in which not to make a lightbulb? In fact, we have to teach our children that what is most important is not that we don’t make any mistakes but rather that we do not let those mistakes get to us. If you have a child that is always flustered when she makes mistakes then read this article that I wrote about why it is important that we make mistakes when learning to play the piano.

 

 

Learn Alongside Your Child and Celebrate The Victories

In my homeschool piano programs, I always advocate that parents should learn alongside the child, the reason for this is because, when you learn alongside the child you understand the challenges faced by the child and you also gain first-hand experience on how tricky it can be to play a musical instrument.

 

Thus you will learn to appreciate the progress they make and will no doubt genuinely celebrate even the tiniest of victories wholeheartedly. However, more than anything else, learning alongside your child helps you bond with your child much better and most importantly gives you deep insights into your child’s learning style and how you can help him or her excel at what he/she is learning.

 

Furthermore, from my own experience, I have found that the most successful kids when learning to play the piano have parents who are fully involved in their musical journey and I even wrote about it in a previous article, which you can read here.

 

What is more, there is research to indicate that kids who are successful at learning to play the piano or any instrument for that matter had highly involved parents, but it is not necessary for those parents to have a knowledge of music, just being involved in the manner stated in this article would help increase your child’s success rate when learning to play the piano.

 

Now that you have read, how you can reduce your child’s frustrations when learning to play the piano or any other instrument, I hope you will implement these ideas and let me know what you think of them.

 

Come join my community of amazing homeschooling parents who have been teaching their kids to play the piano (even though many of them have never touched a piano in their lives) and you can learn many more tips and tricks on how you can increase your child’s success rate when learning to play the piano.

Music Education: 5 Things You Absolutely Need To Know About The Importance Of Music Theory In Your Child’s Music Education

There is a common misconception that parents who unschool their kids cannot teach music because it requires to be more regimented than other subjects, which could often be learned through everyday life. Well, I would beg to differ on that.

 

Having worked with tonnes of kids in the past, I have seen that there are many ways in which music can be incorporated without any need for a formal programme and in this article I would like to provide a list of things you can do as an unschooling parent, even if you have no knowledge of music yourself.

 

Keep a variety of musical instruments in the house, this does not mean that you have invest a ton of money rather you can buy second hand or just look out for garage sales where you can get smaller instruments that are in good condition. Maybe a friend is moving out of state or province and would let you have their upright.

 

Let the kids freely play on these instruments, you will find that they will make their own music that sounds right to them and if they are ready, they will ask to learn more at which time you can provide them with more resources that are available online.

 

Listen to music from all different genres whether it is blues, jazz, the classics, pop, rock or more and encourage them to tap the beat.

 

Create different playlists with the music you already have stored on your iPad or iPhone and then have a different themed dance party at home.

 

Have kids hum and tap beats that they hear on the radio at worship or at some other venue.

 

Give them opportunities or dance when doing different routine chores around the house, such as setting the table, taking out the trash, tidying their rooms and so on.

 

Older kids wanting to learn but not wanting to take formal classes could be encouraged to find the necessary resources online, through books from the library and elsewhere, which will be much less regimented and very enjoyable.

 

What different ways have you incorporated music into your unschooling lifestyle? I would really like to hear more.

 

Did you find this helpful, do you have any specific questions about how to incorporate your music in to you unschooling lifestyle or how to support an older child’s love for music, then please feel free to message me and I would glad to help you out.

Want To Teach Your Child To Play More Than One Instrument In the Homeschool? Here Are 3 ‘No Fail’ Ways To Do So

There is a common misconception that parents who unschool their kids cannot teach music because it requires to be more regimented than other subjects, which could often be learned through everyday life. Well, I would beg to differ on that.

 

Having worked with tonnes of kids in the past, I have seen that there are many ways in which music can be incorporated without any need for a formal programme and in this article I would like to provide a list of things you can do as an unschooling parent, even if you have no knowledge of music yourself.

 

Keep a variety of musical instruments in the house, this does not mean that you have invest a ton of money rather you can buy second hand or just look out for garage sales where you can get smaller instruments that are in good condition. Maybe a friend is moving out of state or province and would let you have their upright.

 

Let the kids freely play on these instruments, you will find that they will make their own music that sounds right to them and if they are ready, they will ask to learn more at which time you can provide them with more resources that are available online.

 

Listen to music from all different genres whether it is blues, jazz, the classics, pop, rock or more and encourage them to tap the beat.

 

Create different playlists with the music you already have stored on your iPad or iPhone and then have a different themed dance party at home.

 

Have kids hum and tap beats that they hear on the radio at worship or at some other venue.

 

Give them opportunities or dance when doing different routine chores around the house, such as setting the table, taking out the trash, tidying their rooms and so on.

 

Older kids wanting to learn but not wanting to take formal classes could be encouraged to find the necessary resources online, through books from the library and elsewhere, which will be much less regimented and very enjoyable.

 

What different ways have you incorporated music into your unschooling lifestyle? I would really like to hear more.

 

Did you find this helpful, do you have any specific questions about how to incorporate your music in to you unschooling lifestyle or how to support an older child’s love for music, then please feel free to message me and I would glad to help you out.

6 ‘Must Do’s’ When Setting Up A Piano Recital In The Homeschool

There is a common misconception that parents who unschool their kids cannot teach music because it requires to be more regimented than other subjects, which could often be learned through everyday life. Well, I would beg to differ on that.

 

Having worked with tonnes of kids in the past, I have seen that there are many ways in which music can be incorporated without any need for a formal programme and in this article I would like to provide a list of things you can do as an unschooling parent, even if you have no knowledge of music yourself.

 

Keep a variety of musical instruments in the house, this does not mean that you have invest a ton of money rather you can buy second hand or just look out for garage sales where you can get smaller instruments that are in good condition. Maybe a friend is moving out of state or province and would let you have their upright.

 

Let the kids freely play on these instruments, you will find that they will make their own music that sounds right to them and if they are ready, they will ask to learn more at which time you can provide them with more resources that are available online.

 

Listen to music from all different genres whether it is blues, jazz, the classics, pop, rock or more and encourage them to tap the beat.

 

Create different playlists with the music you already have stored on your iPad or iPhone and then have a different themed dance party at home.

 

Have kids hum and tap beats that they hear on the radio at worship or at some other venue.

 

Give them opportunities or dance when doing different routine chores around the house, such as setting the table, taking out the trash, tidying their rooms and so on.

 

Older kids wanting to learn but not wanting to take formal classes could be encouraged to find the necessary resources online, through books from the library and elsewhere, which will be much less regimented and very enjoyable.

 

What different ways have you incorporated music into your unschooling lifestyle? I would really like to hear more.

 

Did you find this helpful, do you have any specific questions about how to incorporate your music in to you unschooling lifestyle or how to support an older child’s love for music, then please feel free to message me and I would glad to help you out.

Does Your Teenager Want To Speak ‘Musical Jargon’? Here’s How You Can Help Him In The Homeschool

There is a common misconception that parents who unschool their kids cannot teach music because it requires to be more regimented than other subjects, which could often be learned through everyday life. Well, I would beg to differ on that.

 

Having worked with tonnes of kids in the past, I have seen that there are many ways in which music can be incorporated without any need for a formal programme and in this article I would like to provide a list of things you can do as an unschooling parent, even if you have no knowledge of music yourself.

 

Keep a variety of musical instruments in the house, this does not mean that you have invest a ton of money rather you can buy second hand or just look out for garage sales where you can get smaller instruments that are in good condition. Maybe a friend is moving out of state or province and would let you have their upright.

 

Let the kids freely play on these instruments, you will find that they will make their own music that sounds right to them and if they are ready, they will ask to learn more at which time you can provide them with more resources that are available online.

 

Listen to music from all different genres whether it is blues, jazz, the classics, pop, rock or more and encourage them to tap the beat.

 

Create different playlists with the music you already have stored on your iPad or iPhone and then have a different themed dance party at home.

 

Have kids hum and tap beats that they hear on the radio at worship or at some other venue.

 

Give them opportunities or dance when doing different routine chores around the house, such as setting the table, taking out the trash, tidying their rooms and so on.

 

Older kids wanting to learn but not wanting to take formal classes could be encouraged to find the necessary resources online, through books from the library and elsewhere, which will be much less regimented and very enjoyable.

 

What different ways have you incorporated music into your unschooling lifestyle? I would really like to hear more.

 

Did you find this helpful, do you have any specific questions about how to incorporate your music in to you unschooling lifestyle or how to support an older child’s love for music, then please feel free to message me and I would glad to help you out.