Jump to content

Learning an instrument


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Conqueredmountains

Posted 14 May 2019 - 04:58 PM

Hi, my eleven year old daughter (year 5) has been in the school band since she was in year 3.

She has always loved band and her private weekly lesson.

This year she is in concert band and lately she has started being really reluctant to do it any more. I have paid for the year! What should I do? Let her quit? Force her to finish the year? I have no musical background so I’m wondering if I’m meant to push her through it a bit until she experiences the joy of music again or just give up and be happy to be done with the expense of learning an instrument.

She is not enjoying band any more simply because a couple of her friends quit and now her band time is during school and she can see the rest of her class doing fun fitness games outside.

Any advice?

#2 halcyondays

Posted 14 May 2019 - 05:23 PM

Can she continue private lessons and not do band? She’s reached an age where friendships and keeping with her peer group is very important so I’d let her miss band as long as she continues private lessons and practices at home.

#3 jayskette

Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:21 PM

learning something is just as much about sticking with it when things go bad or if the results are not forthcoming.

#4 ERipley

Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:29 PM

View Posthalcyondays, on 14 May 2019 - 05:23 PM, said:

Can she continue private lessons and not do band? She’s reached an age where friendships and keeping with her peer group is very important so I’d let her miss band as long as she continues private lessons and practices at home.

I agree with this.

#5 robhat

Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:34 PM

I think it depends on what you want to teach your child and why she's learning an instrument.

Learning any instrument takes years of practice and it sucks a lot, especially once the novelty has worn off and it gets hard but you can't yet play anything interesting! Part of what a child learns when learning an instrument is persistence.

It is understandable that your child wants to be with her friends, however it's also a useful life lesson to learn that sometimes you can't be when you've got other commitments. Quiting band could potentially teach her that friends are more important than keeping a commitment, but then maybe you see friends as being more important here? It also depends on where you see her going with her music. If you think it's not a valuable use of her time, maybe now is the time to quit. If you think it's useful for her and teaching her useful skills etc, then insist she persists. I don't know that there is necessarily a right or wrong. But I do suggest you have a lengthy conversation with your daughter about it and whatever you decide, make sure you're clear about why.

#6 limakilo

Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:41 PM

Can you get a refund?
If she chose to do it, and you talked about paying for it for the year, then I would say she needs to do it for the year.
If it costs money, then you have to consider that when you sign on, parents and kids alike.

I agree that friendship is important, but so is committing to something and not just changing because your friends do.

#7 Red Sparrow

Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:03 PM

In our school when you do music you must be prepared to commit to the whole year.

#8 Kattikat

Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:25 PM

I was into music and band and I wanted to quit... I think it was in about year 8. But mum made me continue just to the end of semester and then reevaluate and I'm so glad she did as it seems like it was just a little rough patch because from then on I loved it and continued through year 12 with it. I say stick it out.

#9 FoxinSocks

Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:31 PM

I played violin from the age of 4, and still play now as an adult. I went through many phases where it was hard, and I felt like I wasn’t making progress, and begged to quit. My mum pushed me through these times, and I am now so glad she did - some of my best and longest term friends are from orchestras and string ensembles over the years, and I love that I can pick up my violin and play a nice tune now.

My vote is to encourage her through this rough patch.

#10 Drat

Posted 14 May 2019 - 08:55 PM

I'd make her continue. Commitment and perseverance is something that is super important to me.

Hubby and I are both musicians and one thing we really agreed on was the fact that our parents never let us quit on a whim. There was definitely a few periods over the years where I just wanted to quit because I wanted to watch cartoons, or because it was getting hard, or I didn't like a song that I was playing etc. Get her to see the year out and then if she's really still keen on quitting then let her.

#11 Conqueredmountains

Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:20 AM

Thank you so much for your advice. I’m now going to make her stick it out until the end of the year.

#12 seayork2002

Posted 15 May 2019 - 09:18 AM

Our band fees I believe are term based DS does not do band but if he did (like other activities) he has to see out the term then can stop.

#13 Octopodes

Posted 15 May 2019 - 09:29 AM

I think making her stick it out for the time already paid for is reasonable.

#14 molinero

Posted 15 May 2019 - 09:50 AM

I agree with a little bit of gentle enforcement to get them through the rough patch. I mean, honestly, if you've ever learned something like a new instrument or a new language, you would appreciate there are periods of time when you just want to go slower or even take a break, and the idea of continuously working at the same pace is just too much.

Consider cutting band. Consider speaking with the private music teacher and see if there is a way for your DD to take things a little easier for a few months. If she does music exams, maybe she wants to skip this years' exam and study for it next year, whilst focusing on playing for fun over the next few months.

#15 BeAwesome

Posted 15 May 2019 - 10:30 AM

My music mad daughter of the same age is a bit ho-hum about ensemble at the moment.  Her issue is there's a much higher number of beginners this year, a big drop off of seniors and the difficulty of pieces for the whole group has decreased, so she's bored.  

She's spoken to her teacher about playing something that excites her a bit more, and has come home with Panic at the Disco, and Ariana Grande pieces, and all of a sudden is keen to practice again.

I quit music lessons at around 13 due to a clash of interests with my piano teacher - she wanted me to do exam pieces, I wanted to play pop music, and it's one of my bigger regrets.

#16 Nasty Butterfly

Posted 15 May 2019 - 10:34 AM

Both DD's played instruments (french horn and flute) and were in the band from the same age as your DD and both of them gave it up at around the same time.

I absolutely hated the fact they were giving up their instruments and band because both of them were quite good and in DD2's case far above average.

I asked them to stick it out until the end of the year just to be sure but they were both just not enjoying it anymore and quit.

It turned out to be the right decision for them as they have gone on to find their place in other areas of the arts and in fact, both chose new instruments to play (piano and guitar) for pleasure so didn't give up music altogether.

I have to say I don't miss the battles of that last year of band with complaints and having to harass them to practice all the time. Neither of them were having any fun at all.

I guess you just have to try and figure out if it is just an adjustment period now that her friends have left or if she is just growing up and her interests are changing.

#17 amdirel

Posted 15 May 2019 - 10:37 AM

My DD wanted to quit band at the same age, year 5. I made her stick it out, but she just pushed back harder. Shd ended up refusing to go, about halfway through year 6. So I let her quit. She didn't do private lessons though, if she did I'd definitely have let her quit band when she wanted to.

#18 Oh Peanuts!

Posted 15 May 2019 - 11:28 AM

I think it’s fair to nudge along for a little while (if you’ve paid ahead), but not too long, especially if she is adamant and understands her choice.

My own experience as a child was that I really hated learning an instrument and couldn’t wait to quit. It just wasn’t fun or interesting enough for me. But for me, that was right from the beginning. There were plenty of other activities, mainly sports, that I loved. I never saw those as a chore, and definitely learnt persistence and the value of hard work in doing them. So I guess I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that you need to push through with an instrument to learn those things. I think it comes down to finding the right activity and personality.

#19 Jersey Caramel

Posted 15 May 2019 - 02:44 PM

My kids are involved in school band and I am involved in the parent committee.  One thing I would say is that band is the equivalent of a team sport. If you quit partway through,  it does effect everyone else,  particularly on certain instruments.  My eldest's band started with 6 percussionists (and many more students wanted to play percussion). One by one they have dropped out, and now the band is left with only one drummer, where many pieces of music are written for 3 or 4 different percussion instruments. It means their pieces never sound quite right, and they are limited in which pieces they can play.

Of course kids shouldn't be forced to continue indefinitely with an activity they hate,  but if you have committed for the year then I would expect them to follow through.

From the fees point of view,  we (the committee) pay a band teacher and also have to pay for music,  insurance,  competition fees etc. We divide these costs by the number of students at the start of the year. If students drop out partway having not paid or asking for a refund, we risk not being able to cover our costs and it increases the cost for everyone else. So again,  I would try to treat it as a commitment for the year (or at least pay for the year even if she drops out).

#20 seayork2002

Posted 15 May 2019 - 02:52 PM

View PostJersey Caramel, on 15 May 2019 - 02:44 PM, said:

My kids are involved in school band and I am involved in the parent committee.  One thing I would say is that band is the equivalent of a team sport. If you quit partway through,  it does effect everyone else,  particularly on certain instruments.  My eldest's band started with 6 percussionists (and many more students wanted to play percussion). One by one they have dropped out, and now the band is left with only one drummer, where many pieces of music are written for 3 or 4 different percussion instruments. It means their pieces never sound quite right, and they are limited in which pieces they can play.

Of course kids shouldn't be forced to continue indefinitely with an activity they hate,  but if you have committed for the year then I would expect them to follow through.

From the fees point of view,  we (the committee) pay a band teacher and also have to pay for music,  insurance,  competition fees etc. We divide these costs by the number of students at the start of the year. If students drop out partway having not paid or asking for a refund, we risk not being able to cover our costs and it increases the cost for everyone else. So again,  I would try to treat it as a commitment for the year (or at least pay for the year even if she drops out).

I am not agreeing or disagreeing with you but to me personally music is something a person would have to passionate about it and not just going through the motions?

Sure a person can be taught press this, do this, hold the instrument like this or whatever but unless they have a passion for it would it be beneficial for them to continue for either themselves or the rest in the band?

I know for my son if he does not want to do something sure he can sit there and go through each thing he is taught but unless he actually wants to do it I am not sure there would be any point in him being there (using him as an example only)

This is why we gave up swimming, he tried it for about 5 years and the last few months were like pulling teeth he did what the teacher told him but was not getting anything out of it

#21 limakilo

Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:56 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 15 May 2019 - 02:52 PM, said:

I am not agreeing or disagreeing with you but to me personally music is something a person would have to passionate about it and not just going through the motions?

Sure a person can be taught press this, do this, hold the instrument like this or whatever but unless they have a passion for it would it be beneficial for them to continue for either themselves or the rest in the band?
I feel that way about science. At school it bored me to the point of yawns full of tears running down my face, I didn't agree with dissecting frogs or sheep's eyes, and I've never had any use for it. Yet I still had to do it for the whole year.

#22 seayork2002

Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:20 PM

View Postlimakilo, on 15 May 2019 - 04:56 PM, said:


I feel that way about science. At school it bored me to the point of yawns full of tears running down my face, I didn't agree with dissecting frogs or sheep's eyes, and I've never had any use for it. Yet I still had to do it for the whole year.

For me science was not extra curricular to study there was no choice to do or quit and I have never heard you have to be passionate about  science

#23 limakilo

Posted 15 May 2019 - 06:33 PM

View Postseayork2002, on 15 May 2019 - 05:20 PM, said:

For me science was not extra curricular to study there was no choice to do or quit and I have never heard you have to be passionate about  science
Same here, I was just using it as an example of subject I would have quit if I could have.

#24 Jersey Caramel

Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:14 PM

I think it would only be a small proportion of children who are passionate about music right from the start.  You have to get through the tedious early learning phase, and even then I think plenty of students just enjoy it,  but wouldn't be passionate about it.

Either way, whether to continue on should be a conversation you have at the start of each year,  and if the answer is yes then ideally the commitment followed through for the year if at all possible.  Same with team sports and any other commitment that effects other people.

#25 Drat

Posted 16 May 2019 - 07:36 AM

View PostJersey Caramel, on 15 May 2019 - 07:14 PM, said:

I think it would only be a small proportion of children who are passionate about music right from the start.  You have to get through the tedious early learning phase, and even then I think plenty of students just enjoy it,  but wouldn't be passionate about it.

Nailed it. The same goes with practise. Most kids hate to practise, but enjoy playing or enjoy ensembles.
I've been doing music for 30 years.. I don't enjoy practise and I only do it when I have to, but I love music!




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 
 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Viewed Articles

 
Advertisement
 
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.