Should Parents Push Their Child To Learn Music?


in Learning Music

Learning music is a worthwhile pursuit and a good developmental activity for any child to participate in. Not only that, but enrolling in music lessons at an early age can eventually lead to an interest in fine arts or an instrument later in life.

We all want this for our kids and most of us are willing to put them through formal lessons at a young age in order to encourage musical growth and exposure.

Unfortunately, children usually do not have much of an attention span, which means most kids will only tolerate music lessons and may try and do their best to avoid having to participate in them. In the event that the music they’re playing becomes difficult or challenging for them, children will often react by throwing out their interest in the lessons or the instrument as a whole.

When this starts happening with regularity, you need to make the choice between either pushing them to press through for a certain amount of time or allowing them to throw in the towel and give up the lessons.

The question is: which one is the right response?

There’s no universal answer as different children and different situations will call for different responses; however, the arguments for both sides can be examined and then applied as necessary.

The Argument for Pressing Through

Children, by their nature, don’t possess a lot of fortitude or patience. That’s alright, because as they grow into greater levels of maturity, they’ll develop that patience. Until that point, they’ll tend to be pretty fickle about things that challenge them.

If music is challenging your child and he/she just doesn’t want to deal with it, you might want to have them push through it for a certain amount of time. You could say, “Try three more lessons. If you feel the same way, then you can try something else.”

You need to do your best to have a conversation with your child about why they want to give up on music and what the root cause is.

If you’re seeing that it’s just laziness or frustration with a challenge, you might want to force the issue to a certain degree. Just be sure that you aren’t making them do something simply because you want them to be good at it or you’re playing some sort of vicarious game where you want them to do something you’ve always wanted to do.

Avoid that road at all costs and remember that your child is your child before they’re your musical prodigy.

The Argument for Giving In

On the other hand, your child might have a gripe with the particular instrument that they’re playing and simply want to try something different. If that’s the case, you should absolutely allow them to ditch what they’re doing and take up the new instrument.

Say you have your 10-year old boy in guitar lessons, but he’s just not interested in it and wants to quit. If you talk to him and he says something along the lines of “I just think I’d enjoy the piano more”, rent a piano and let him pursue it for a while. If he sticks with it, then get him back into music lessons with the piano as the focal point.

You also need to consider that music might not really be something that your child is genuinely interested in. Some people just don’t hear an instrument and can even have trouble distinguishing a higher note from a lower note. If this sounds like your child’s behavior towards music, then forcing them through a musical instrument is not going to be fruitful.

They’re probably be skilled with something else, so let them pursue whatever that thing might be.


When coming to either conclusion, you need to dialogue and discuss with your child about where they’re at and what they’re thinking. In the end, you’ve got to make the call as the parent, but do your best to collect as much information as you can so that you can make an informed decision and avoid frustrating your child.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and marketing professional from Southern California whose writing covers a vast range of topics, including health and skincare, gaming and technology and marketing. With three children of her own, she always encourages them to try their best, despite what may be challenging them.


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