How Parents Can Encourage Musical Learning During Covid

Traditionally, parents sent their children to lessons and entrusted their musical growth to piano teachers, music educators, and choir directors. These days, music education must be continued at home. However, given the wealth of educational apps, toys, and video chat software options available, there’s no reason why your child’s music education should stall because of the current health crisis.

Keep reading to find out how you can help your child learn at home, even when they can’t meet with a teacher in person.

Digital Resources At Your Disposal

While you may be separated from your teacher or musical friends physically, digital learning has advanced to an unprecedented level. If you have fast internet, a webcam, and a decent microphone (most webcams have one!), you can learn with a teacher remotely. The technology has allowed for people to seek out creative schools for teens and children that they have been missing in traditional school for over a decade. 

Many families have turned to live online piano lessons, and while the transition was rocky at first, teachers have learned to use Skype, Zoom, ManyCam, and other platforms to deliver effective lessons. Young children will have better results if a parent or caregiver is present in the room – it can be hard for teachers to maintain discipline when they are nothing more than a figure on a screen.

“I’ve had students hide off-camera during online lessons because they thought it was funny,” said Florence Phillips, a piano instructor in West Chester, PA. “Most students behave well, but you do have the occasional situation where a child can’t focus. I recommend having the parent’s number handy so you can send a quick text message if necessary.”

Learning apps offer another excellent way to grow musically during these trying times. While they are never as effective as one-to-one lessons, apps like Simply Piano present guiding learning strategies that parents can use with their children – your kids will still learn to read notes and play simple tunes, and when things return to normal, they will be ahead of their peers.

Toys and Musical Aids At Home

Music doesn’t always have to feel like work – you can help your child learn and have fun at the same time. One popular gift this past holiday season was the flexible roll up piano keyboard. These come with a number of different musical instrument sounds, rhythmic backtracks, and they sometimes have guided tutorials. They can also be stored almost anywhere, and kids love them.

Piano mats are another excellent educational toy – they aren’t delicate or valuable, like a piano or digital piano, but your child can still learn the keys, develop musical curiosity, and make music by either stepping on or pressing the keys.

It doesn’t stop there, of course. You can use recorders, ukuleles, or even an Automotone to get your child involved in fun music-making.

Get Involved In Music Making Yourself

Children love to imitate – that’s no secret. The most valuable music education they could possibly receive is actually at home, and not necessary from in-home piano lessons. Parents who regularly sing, play the piano (even in a rudimentary sense!), strum the guitar, or otherwise participate in music will urge their children to do the same, without having to force them into lessons.

If you want your child to grow into a musician, the best thing you can do is set up a decent keyboard at home, learn to play basic piano, and play it a little bit every day. Your child will want to try it too, and you can sit at the keyboard and pick notes out with them. That kind of “discovery learning” on the child’s behalf will set them up for a lifetime of musical enjoyment.

In short, the best thing you can do for your child’s musical development is to make your home a music-rich environment. Get an instrument, have musical toys, participate in music yourself, and take advantage of technology to educate your child at home.

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