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Confessions of a Music Mom

In a conversation with my husband, we were discussing how it sometimes takes time for students to "find" their instrument of choice and that's okay. Many times when a child begins music lessons, all they know is that they want to play something. Countless times families have come through the doors of GMG wanting to sign their child up for music lessons and the child says I want to play an instrument like such and such. Their only connection between them and the instrument was something they've seen on TV or seen another family member play. Nevertheless, the parents sign them up, but things don't go quite the way the student envisioned, which makes the parents question whether or not their child is "musical." However, the key is understanding that sometimes finding the instrument that fits your child's personality and interests may take time. We've had several students start on one instrument and switch until they found "the one," then do really well. Imagine if their parents would have said, "Well, maybe music just isn't for you" and walked away at that point. One thing you have to remember about learning music is that every child is musical, it just has to be cultivated and developed.

Our daughter, Kierra started out with piano at the age of 4. However, there was a point when she wanted to learn the drums. Being the musical family that we are, we were pretty excited about this newfound interest. After about six months of playing the drums, it was performance time. I know I've told this story from a different perspective, but it's fitting for this confession as well. Kierra walked on stage and began to play her drum solo. Midway through she stopped, walked off stage to her father (who was hosting the recital), and whispered in his ear, "Dad, I don't want to play the drums anymore." She then turned around and walked back to her seat in the audience. You should have seen our faces and the audience's looks of confusion. I'm sure they were thinking, "Umm, was she done?" We have it on tape and it's very comical looking back at it.

Long story short, allowing a child to explore musical instruments is okay. They may switch before finding their "thing." We as parents have to be okay with that, and it doesn't mean giving up or that they must not be musical. They simply need to expose themselves to other things and who knows what the outcome of this musical exploration will yield. To this day Kierra plays piano, drums (yes she still plays every now and again), she sings, plays violin, and the guitar...all of which comes in handy in her profession as a songwriter. This was all through her being exposed to various instruments and finding what she enjoyed the most. Sometimes, we as adults need time to experience things in order to make the best decision. I can only imagine what a 5-year-old or a 5th grader feels when having to decide upon what instrument they'd like to play. Time is an okay thing, so when your child plays an instrument for a certain amount of time, but then wants to switch, be okay with your child's musical exploration process. They will eventually find their "thing," or even like Kierra, pick up a few more along the way!

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