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Should music lessons play into after-school agendas?

Should music lessons play into after-school agendas?


The only keyboard my boys’ hands touch these days is attached to a screen. There was a time when the piano keyboard played host to their little hands.

While it’s officially back-to-school time, it’s also back to extra-curricular time and for many, part of that time is taken up with music lessons. My boys were destined to study music in some form and since we inherited the piano my parents purchased for me when I was young, piano it was.

We took part in Music for Young Children, a program that involves the parents and teaches theory and composition while gently introducing kids to the instrument. Our teacher was young, enthusiastic, gifted and had three little boys of her own. She knew how to engage her students.

Learning note values became a game involving fly swatters. When she called out a note value, students swatted the corresponding “bug’’ note card from the selection spread out on the floor. There we lots of games and only part of the hour was spent sitting at the pianos.

They gained confidence and played in two annual recitals and eventually went on to complete in the local Kiwanis Music Festival.

Ben and I performed in the unjuried parent and child duet class one year. I had never been so nervous, not wanting to let the kid down.

We had our battles over practice time and on sunny Thursday evenings they would have rather played outside than go to their lesson. Now, they are glad they studied music, just as my mom said I would be, and am.

She didn’t know that those piano lessons would help me in other areas of learning and development. These days, research shows the far-reaching benefits of music education. Still, piano, violin or vocal lessons are not for every child. There are so many options and it’s important to let kids explore their interests.

City Parent readers can explore the choices in our registration section. Perhaps you’ve inherited a drum set?