Regardless of age, ability or performance medium, practicing can sometimes feel like a chore. The difference between “making music” and wrestling to bring a piece of music under our control can be painful and frustrating. Fortunately there are some time-tested ways to close that gap, making the process of practicing music more enjoyable.
At the very moment that a child is born, parents are often at awe with the sudden presence of a new creation, so perfect and full of potential. Their instinctive feeling for their child’s vast potential is mirrored by an amazing transformation that the child will go through during the first few years of his/her life to begin fulfilling that potential.
The claim that public speaking tops death as the greatest human fear led Jerry Seinfeld to say, “So if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than giving the eulogy.” Now consider how much more terrifying the public performance of music must be - hundreds of eyes and ears trained on a single person as he or she makes a complex instrument speak in what amounts to a foreign language.
A three-year-old child is a wonder to behold. She is a sponge for information, eyes wide open, hands grasping, ears attuned. It’s easy to feel that the main function of a parent is keeping inappropriate things out of reach. But there’s a positive side to this, of course. This is the age at which the child is most receptive to good things as well.