Monaco Music Studio


Maybe you should let them quit: what to do when your child is resisting music lessons or practicing

Friday, November 11, 2022 by Marcie Monaco | Uncategorized


Hello parents,
I learned an important lesson this year that I wanted to share with you. I made a quick video (less than 6 minutes long) about how I reacted when my kids really started to push back about lessons and practicing.  If you're like me and you hate watching videos, let me give you a quick summary:

I am the mother of 8 children.  I require that they all take lessons and that they practice every day.  Two of my children started in piano and started to give me grief about having to practice pretty early on. We switched to strings before the year was out and stuck with that for quite a while.  After 4 years of cello and violin lessons, my kiddos really started to be difficult and started asking to quit.  I was reluctant to let them because it felt like they were throwing away years of progress on their instruments, but finally, I relented.  One started taking voice lessons, and one had already started with the oboe but promised to spend more time on it.

I couldn't believe what happened. My children, who were pretty ok string players, really blossomed in the following months. 

P is a fabulous oboist- one of the best middle school oboists in the state of Illinois (if not THE best).
M is a fabulous singer.  Her vocal range is INCREDIBLE-larger than most professional singers.  

I am so stunned. Who would have guessed?? It hurts a little to think that while I was just trying to be a good mom,* I was really holding them back from discovering the true musician inside. 

*Music develops cooperation, discipline, and focus.  Music provides a lovely skill/hobby children can enjoy for the rest of their lives. Music is a gift you can share with others. But you all know all of these facts already!

**I just want to state for the record that quitting isn't always the best idea!  Often kids just want to be lazy and sometimes you have to push through that.  Sometimes lessons aren't spectacularly fun, but if your child has a musical future (as a professional or enthusiastic amateur), they will need a variety of music skills to pull from and will just need to deal with the unfun stuff. Usually they will understand this. :)