Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How Do You Keep Teenagers Interested in Music Lessons???

Many times children will start out learning to play an instrument when they are in elementary school. Very often it will be piano lessons at home, or perhaps a band instrument at school including trumpet, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trombone and drums/percussion being the most popular. However, by the time these same children become teenagers and begin entering high school, their interest in music and music lessons often begins to fade.

There a number of reasons for this of course, not the least of which the number of distractions now presenting themselves these days. Teenagers now have computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, cable TV, Netflix, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tumbler, and the grand daddy of all social media Facebook. With all of these entertainment options and distractions now available is it any wonder that teenagers today have a hard time wanting to stay focused on music and continue learning their instrument.

I can think of several ways to try and rekindle the interest of your teen (or perhaps yourself) in music lessons and music in general. Not in any particular order, here are a few:

  • Try learning a new instrument you haven't played before - Sometimes we get stuck in a rut playing the same instrument for years, and if we just try learning how to play something new maybe an instrument you've always wanted to play this would do the trick.
  • Consider learning songs in a different genre - If you've been taking classical piano lessons for years and perhaps you're tired of it, try beginning to learn how to play popular songs from the radio and YouTube. This is a whole different experience and playing songs that are more familiar to you may help recharge your musical batteries.
  • Try learning from a new teacher - It can be difficult to tell a teacher you've had for a while that you want to move on and try something different but sometimes that what you need to do. Get a new and different perspective from someone else who will undoubtedly have a different style of teaching. In fact don't be afraid to take lessons from several different teachers over time as you'll be amazed what different techniques and tips you'll learn from each one.
  • Start learning how to write your own songs or instrumental compositions - If pop, country or R&B music is your favorite style then try your hand at writing some original songs; if jazz or classical is your specialty then write a few instrumental musical pieces in those genres. Learning the process of how to write your own music will open up your eyes and musical hearts to so many different possibilities.

That's all the ideas I can think of for now, but I'm sure we will add to this list over time. I got this idea for today's post from an article in the Irish Times about how to keep teenagers interested in music. One major theme they discuss is to share with your music students the social importance and impact of playing an instrument. Playing music with others either in a band, an ensemble or any type of musical group can be one of the most satisfying experiences you will ever have. To learn more about what Music Generations and Limerick Voices are doing over in Ireland to help teens stay interested please read Irish Times - How to Stop Teenagers from Tuning Out of Music Lessons

That's all for today boys and girls - Stop back in a few days for our next post. In the meantime go find a quiet spot and play some music, or better yet call some bands and do a jam session.

Music, Love & Laughter,

Vincent James @

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