by Ryan Ruff August 13, 2021 6 min read

2020 was a tough year for parents and children alike. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many of us stayed home and changed our lifestyles.

Many students also stopped attending school and started virtual classes. Online learning ensures that children learn at home.

But the switch from physical lessons to virtual classes can be hard for your child. Before online classes, your child would see their teacher in person every day.

Without this connection, they may find it difficult to learn.

The change may also be difficult because your child isn't used to virtual learning. It's a different environment with different problems.

It's also a well-known fact thatchildren thrive through interacting with their peers.

You might notice that your child is not interested in playing their instrument.

But what if you can help your child see the benefits of their current online studies?

Can you motivate your child to practice their instruments at home?

Let's discuss different ways to help your child understand online instrument classes.

Engage Your Child in Continuous Conversation

Mother and daughter looking at laptop together

Moving to online instrument classes involves learning new behaviors. It also includes unlearning old behaviors.

This change can be stressful for your child, and they may react through giving up on their instrument.

Your child has many thoughts and emotions, which they may not understand completely.

They can share if they feelacceptedandmotivated.

As a parent, encouraging your child to share their experience can help you create a solution. You can develop a scheduletogetherand help them learn and feel supported.

Because you and your child are learning, it's great to provide an opportunity for talking.

Allow your child to express distress to find ideal solutions.Effective communication builds trust between you and your child. With trust, you can provide solutions to a willing listener.

But, for your child to listen to you, you need to listen first.  

Steps for Effective Communication

  • First, ensure that you and your child are both in a good mood. Approach them and tell them that you wish to talk about their music classes.
  • Begin by telling them that you understand that change is hard. Also, tell them that you wish to understand how they feel about playing an instrument.
  • As your child talks, be sure to listen. Nod, repeat their sentences and allow them to finish their sentences.
  • If they want to cry or stay silent for a moment, give them space. Once they're done sharing, tell them that it's okay to feel how they feel.
  • Remember to be honest with them about your thoughts. Remind them of their previous achievements with playing an instrument.
  • If they understand, invite them to talk about a solution. The solution could include selecting different online instrument classes and setting a schedule.
  • Open communication helps your child feel supported and motivated. It also encourages them to resume practice while understanding change.
  • After building trust, discussing the following tips with them becomes easier.

Mother and son working together on desktop computer

Set a Schedule for Online Classes to Help Your Child Develop Habits

The lack of predictability is a sure recipe for reduced focus. In school, your child knows where to be throughout the day.

There is time for class, breaks, meals, and social moments. They know what to expect and how to plan themselves around a set schedule.

Schedules do more than help your child manage their time. They also boost reinforcement learning, which is essentialfor forming habits.

At home, they may feel that there is no set schedule and may fail to create a plan to help them focus.

Due to lack of a schedule, your child may procrastinate more. When the deadline arrives, your child may feel overwhelmed and fail.

Help your child by developing a learning schedule. The plan gives them something to plan around and look forward to.

You can also include rewards for several achievements. Depending on the child's age, the reward can be anything from a cookie to the promise of a new music instrument.

Make sure to not set long learning hours because your child is at home. In school, children have periods of relaxing.

They have breaks, times for switching classes, and sports. It would be best to set time for games, TV, and outdoor activities for adequate exercise.

Your schedule should also include realistic goals. Give your child a goal for each class and something to achieve after a lesson.

"As a parent, encouraging your child to share their experience can help you design a solution. You can develop a schedule together and help them learn and feel supported."

Invest in Virtual Resources for Learning

Young woman sitting at drum set watching a virtual lesson on tablet

The shift to online lessons has forced many parents to take up more roles in teaching children. But make no mistake — professionals are essential for excellence.

A qualified teacher understands a child's mind. They know your child's learning pace and learning tactics.

A trained music teacher also has a deep knowledge of music and knows how to set schedules. All these are skills that take time and training to develop.

If you attempt to juggle work, house chores, and homeschooling, you may become tired. As a result, one part may suffer.

You may find yourself forgetting classes or giving poor lessons. Getting frustrated and worse, blowing up on your child, is also possible.

We at Kincaid's understand that you want the best for your child, but your child may find it challenging to learn from you.

Investing in virtual learning resources is a great way to motivate your child.

Paying for professional classes ensures that your child learns from the best. It also shifts the responsibility of creating lessons and looking for learning materials.

When selecting online instrument classes, consider:

  • The credibilityof the music instrument program. Take time to research the people behind their program and their credits. Also, look at reviews about the program and benefits.
  • The natureand flexibilityof the classes. Synchronous (real time) classes help your child learn with others. Asynchronous (pre-recorded) lessons help your child learn at their own time and pace.
  • Your child's interestin the lessons and their views on different learning material. Ask them how they prefer to learn. Finding resources that combine videos and notes may help them learn better.

If you attempt to juggle work, house chores, and homeschooling, you may become tired.

Group Learning and Interactions

Young girl performing violin for virtual audience

When children attend school, they learn how to express themselves. During their interactions, they make friends and learn teamwork.

Without school, children may feel lonely.

They cannot talk to their peers, which may discourage them from learning. Also, if their friends live far away, it can be hard to meet.

You can encourage social interactions by organizing virtual group practices. If your child was part of a band or orchestra, they most likely miss practicing with other members.

Unfortunately, organizing a performance with the band is tough. The Arizona School for The Arts discovered this when switching to online classes.

Without coordination, creating music together is almost impossible. Thanks to lags on online platforms, creating music as a band can become chaotic.

But, your child can still perform for their classmates and receive feedback. You can ask the teacher and other band members to practice a similar piece. Each student can focus on improving their part.

Older students can also meet with younger ones and recommend tips on a live chat. The performance is also a chance to socialize with peers.

You can also encourage your child to perform for family and friends.

During one of your virtual meetings, ask the family to listen to the child's performance. It's like having a family concert, only that your child plays the one instrument.

Look into different ways of delivering good audio to prevent echo and lags. As your child performs for different people, they will feel connected.

How Can Kincaid's Is Music Help?

Encouraging your child to learn music begins with equipping your child with the tools they need to succeed.

At Kincaid's, we ensure that your child has access to qualitymusical instruments and accessories.

Contact us today to help your child learn their instruments online.

What are you doing to help keep your child playing their instrument? I'm sure other parents would love to hear your ideas! Please leave a comment and share this post!

Ryan Ruff
Ryan Ruff

Ryan Ruff is a Music Education Consultant and Vice President for Kincaid's Is Music, using his expertise to help band and orchestra directors build better music programs. He graduated with a degree in Music Education from Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH. He lives with his wife and three daughters in the Greater Dayton area.

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