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Is Music Education for Children Hard?

The benefits of music education for children are enormous and many parents are aware of this fact. And yet, statistics reveal that only 6 percent of all children really take up an instrument to play. Why is it so? Why don’t parents want their kids to develop this wonderful art?

The answer is obvious – many parents seem to think that music education for children is too complex and difficult. Maybe, these parents are totally unaware of how musical notations are taught. Or secondly, it could be that during their own childhood they had bad experiences in music education. Perhaps they were forced by their parents to practice for hours upon hours against their will.

Actually, there can be various reasons why parents are unwilling to provide music education for children. The number one reason is that they fear that their investment will go to waste, as they have heard that many students drop out after just one-and-half to two years of education. It’s true that as soon as the training gets a bit tougher, many students quit because of laziness in coping up.

But let me assure you that the complexity of the syllabus is not the real culprit here. There are several reasons why kids find it hard to cope up. A major one is – wrong choice of instrument. I’ve often seen that parents decide which instrument their child should play.

A long-time friend of mine once said to me that she was always interested in learning the piano, but her parents insisted on a violin for her. The poor girl developed severe pain in her hands because she had to carry the heavy instrument not only during lessons and home practice, but also to and from school.

When I asked her whether she could remember the reason why her parents preferred violin over piano, she answered, “Of course! It was the cost factor. The price of the piano was $250 and tuition fee for piano lessons was $22.5 per month. The price of the violin was just $20 and the tuition fee was just $7.5 per month.”

This case happened more than forty years ago, but it is still very much relevant today. The cost factor drives parents to make their own choices of instrument instead of heeding to their child’s desire.

Right from the start of music education for children, the parents should pay close attention. They must know what to expect from the music school for their child. Most importantly, they should understand the criteria on which to select the teacher. Recommendations from friends and relatives may seem convenient, but they don’t always work.

If the teacher complains that your kid is getting lazy, understand that you didn’t select the right teacher. Kids can never become lazy and bored with music lessons if they get constant inspiration from teachers and parents. No inspiration means – no interest. And no interest means – the end of studies.

Financial Education for Children – Teaching Money Management Skills

Isn’t it an irony that we teach our children to read and write but disregard the importance of a financial education for them? Isn’t imparting and teaching money management skills and knowledge to our children just as important for them to be ready to face the reality of the real world we live in?

Due to the ease of obtaining credit cards these days, there are now more reports of youths in their twenties and early thirties in position of debts than ever before. It is due to such a scenario that it is imperative that children of today are taught to be financially literate with the right money management skills.

The following steps could be taken to educate your children on basic money management:-

  1. Start off by setting up a savings account for them. Give them an allowance, an amount slightly more than their daily estimated expenditure so that they put into their piggy bank that little extra daily. Explain to them that they should put aside say perhaps 10 to 20% of the allowance given. Set them a target to open an account in the nearby bank and later a target monthly savings. Even if that little amount is just ten cent per day, you will be surprise how quickly their savings will grow. The children themselves will be pleasantly surprised. Reward them if they meet their monthly target. This way, good saving habits can be inculcated into them early in life.
  2. Introduce them to the Monopoly and other cash flow games that are available in the market. These games are a good way to educate them on the basic principles of budgeting and the understanding of incomes and expenditures for purchases.
  3. Encourage them to take up part time jobs during their school break to earn some income and extra pocket money.

There are many books written to guide and assist you on a financial education for your children but since this subject is not a syllabus in the most school curriculum, it will be up to you to take the necessary initiatives in teaching the necessary money management skills to them to pave the way for them to gain financial independence early in life.