Should Parents Attend Private Lessons?

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There are as many opinions about parents attending their child’s music lessons as there are teachers. From this particular teacher, for every pro there is a con to having a parent in the room while their child is being taught. Briefly, I will lay a few out and you can decide for yourself what’s best for your child’s development as a musician.

Here are some pros:
*If the parent practices with the child at home, he/she will know exactly how you approached certain areas that need fixing.
*If the parent has no prior music experience, they will pick up basic concepts and be able to help their child if they get stuck .
*Kids may progress faster if their parents are interested and put into practice at home what the teacher asks their child to do.

But there are some cons:
*The presence of a parent interferes with the teacher/ student rapport.
*Kids are different in the presence of their parents. They can become shy and less confident, less willing to share their opinions.
*Sometimes the teacher can be a bit shy and the presence of a parent can make her ill at ease and disrupt her sense of flow.

There is no right or wrong answer to whether or not parents should sit in on music lessons. If you truly think you should be in there, please be a ‘fly on the wall,’ out of sight of both the teacher and the child, be attentive to what’s going on (keep your phone in your pocket), and don’t coach or praise your child.

Most teachers would prefer  not  to have the parent present, but as a parent, I would take my cue from my child. Most kids get to a point where they tell their parents they would rather they wait in the waiting room, unless they need their parents to make an excuse for their lack of practice!

—Audrey Shonn, Piano & Music For Young Children Teacher

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