So, you've had a little one. One day, they are finally old enough to stand up on their own two feet and you walk in on them, bouncing to the music playing on the t.v. - they're in the zone and you can't keep their attention.
Perhaps they are just another lover of music or maybe they have a special beat built into their step, maybe they're a budding musician. Do you pretend like you didn't notice and push them into the family profession - a contractor, a doctor, a sailor? Or, do you let them take the wrong twists and turns and figure it out on their own, discovering their own source of inspiration?
As fellow musicians, from experience, we suggest that first and foremost - lessons are not mandatory, lessons are not meant to be forced into the child's lifestyle. Often times, this can stress the child, pushing them away from an instrument that they may not otherwise stray from. We can tell you this - if you simply purchase an instrument that your child has mentioned interest in - and lay it around the house, to let them pick it up at their leisure, you'd be surprised how providing them with that control, can allow them to feel as though the art form is in their hands, rather than forced upon them. They'll eventually need to learn the fundamentals and structure of their music, but these steps will help avoid the "choir" feel. It makes music more of an outlet.
An important element to recognize, if you're a parent with a musical child, as someone who is not completely creative in their own right - one must remember that creativity has an ebb and flow. Inspiration appears and disappears at random. If a child is not given the space for this to occur within, they can often feel like a failure if they aren't taught to give room for this, to expect this.
Let your child come to you. Leave a guitar laying around the house. Dance around with them, bring them to concerts, open them up to a multitude of creative cultures, if they show interest. Support them. Do not pressure them into school plays, certain genres, lessons or strict creative schedules. Although, if they're totally excited to do lessons and learning their craft, try to support that too! Get them a nice pair of headphones and let them discover songs on their own. Let them witness you enjoying the art that you enjoy. Them witnessing your passion will teach them how to soak up beauty in the world around them and translate the special moments that speak to them. Create this foundation. They will find their own creative journey, with your support, if you let them pave their own little path.
- K. O'Neil, PitStop Musicians