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#104 Which Practice Parent or Music Teacher Are You?

Updated: Jan 25

By Christy | the Practicing Pro
You can also Watch LIVE/HERE

Take the 2- minute Music personality TYPE quiz HERE for Music Teachers and Practicing Parents.

Why is it important to know your practice parenting or music teaching personality type?


Start with a story:

I got to go to the Wizarding World for two days with my husband, Mark. Wow, it was so fun! One of my favourite parts of being there was trying out the spells and watching others practice and figure them out, too! Let me paint a quick picture for you. First, you get to go to the wand store and choose your own wand…well we all know “it chooses you’ right???
So you comb the store over and choose the perfect wand. 
You get a map - showing the approximate places all over both wizarding worlds with spots where you can perform your spells, and off you go!

Now, here is the thing -  While waiting for your turn to try a spell, you would watch the young (or old) wizards ahead of you as they took a turn at it. The different styles of parenting were so obvious in this setting to me.  They were what I call ‘naked’ learning and ‘Naked’. You can see it all: the encouraging, critical, enthusiastic, discouragement, progress - every aspect of the child-parent relationship while learning is happening full throttle on display. And it is so wonderful.

This is a conversation I have as a music school director, and I teach often with parents. Music lessons are a challenge because they put all aspects of parenting /teaching and learning to the test. And they are obvious. It’s like being naked….you will see all the issues and can't ignore them. - not at a one-day experience in a very magical world on vacation BUT every day in your home 

‘I don’t want to practice’ 
You can’t make me
I hate this
I’m too tired
I don’t like doing this 
I don’t want to do this anymore
You make me do this
I want to play but not this song
I don't want to do the concert
I don’t like group class

The list goes on and on….

But why is it so important to take music lessons - and then why is it important to know your practice parenting or music teaching personality  WHY?

Going to school or being in a school program is non-optional and for most children, they GO TO school and come home again to their parents. The parent has little to no involvement, and the learning space is dozens of children with one teacher for their learning. 

Music lessons are SO VALUABLE because you change this to one student and one teacher with a pace matching each student as well as a pace with tasks that are just above the child's ability to master in the lesson solely therefore motivating them to do daily practice and return the next week with the clear task accomplished….needs to happen for them to really learn. It also makes for an at-home 6 days of the week learning block of time - with the parent as the coach especially depending on the child's age. If the child is under about 10 years old, they need the parent as a second coach at home during practices until they can grow and learn to practice on their own. 

So music lessons create a completely different learning experience, and parents are in the equation, and the parent/child relationship is ‘naked’ you can see it all. The teacher-student relationship is also ‘naked’ for similar reasons, and you can see it all too without a group to hide issues in, a pace that almighty does not challenge them, and peers to help regulate their behaviour. 

What does this mean??? It means you NEED music lessons for your child. Otherwise, these learning and growing opportunities for you and your child could be missed. And just never happens.

Here are a few examples-

Learning to work hard
This is a big one -  the pace of the large class is slow for your child. They learn over time that little to no effort needs to be given to be at the top of the class, so they never learn to struggle, learn from mistakes, problem solve, practice, try and try again until they get something or to simply work hard because everything is pretty easy for them in their regular school environment.

Now take them to a violin lesson for example. They move at their own pace, not at a group pace. So this can be hard for them. They will need to develop a lot of skills they are not developing at school and learn to work hard, put some grit into it, and find internal feelings of self-accomplishment since they are not measuring anymore where they sit in their class level.

Learning to problem-solve 
Also a big one - in school, they move at a low easier pace so that one teacher can manage dozens of students at one time. They usually work to the average or lower mean of the group's skills for the best overall success. So if your child learns in an environment where they get it right away and then might even help others after that….they don't learn to be frustrated from a challenge and problem-solve how to accomplish it next time. They miss this all together. Also, suppose your child is slower right now at a skill. In that case, they can easily (with good behaviour) get passed over since one teacher can't catch every student -  very skilled teachers can do an amazing job at not missing anyone - but the chances of getting ignored or passed over is higher.
Failing and having to problem solve and be creative and try and try again learning the importance of breaking things into small pieces and repetition……this is a whole different experience that you learn to deal with every day in music lessons and home music practicing. 

There are dozens more examples BUT you get the point 

Children NEED one-on-one learning situations in their lives and ones that are challenging them to do hard things, that they learn problem-solving skills for and develop over a long period of time that's not instant. MUSIC LESSONS is a perfect place to do this because there are weekly lessons and if lessons start young enough the parent HAS TO help - for violin when you start at 1 to preschool age for example, the parent needs to help with the bowing for weeks to even a year depending on their age. For music lessons, parents need to take notes for their children until they can write themselves and they need to understand the teacher's assignments and read them to their child in their daily practices. Again just a few examples but all skills you won't get in regular school.  And learning and growing opportunities for you and your child in a learning together as a team skills are available to develop. Which is HUGE!

So, back to the wizarding world….
The parallel between the parents and children with wands casting spells and a parent with a child and their musical instrument 

These interactive wands were much like musical instruments.

You could see how children navigated challenges as they learned to cast their spells and how parents guided them through their magical moments and frustrations.

Whether you're a parent practicing at home with your child or a music teacher guiding young musicians through weekly lessons, the struggle to keep practices positive, effective, and fun is a challenge we all face. 

Wands and Wizardry: Lessons from the Wizarding World

For instance, when a child mastered a spell easily, the reactions of parents varied. Some celebrated with an encouraging smile or cheers, while others would be moving on to the next spell quickly or quantifying their mastery of it or its complexity -  like that was easy or that was the hardest one of all and you got it the first try. These seemingly small things showed the diverse parenting styles that influence a child's confidence and independence.

Just like the different parents in the Wizarding World, there are different parents in music home practices. After 30 plus years of teaching and now the director of a big music school and a teacher trainer I have seen the same parenting personalities and teachers over and over.

Now, I invite you to uncover your unique parenting or teaching style in the world of music. 

Take our "Discover Your Magical Music Parenting Style Quiz" to reveal how your approach influences your child's musical journey.

The quiz isn't just a whimsical diversion – it's a tool to help you know and understand of your magical style your parenting type or your teaching type 

This will give you SKILLS to know what to focus on so that you can have success. It will also tell you what to be careful of as well. So that you can avoid some common mistakes that your personality or type tends to make. 

Check out my Free PDF download Checklist for a Successful Music Practice for teachers and practicing parents.

Your easy checklist for successful home music practices from Christy, the practicing pro. Whether you are a new or seasoned practice parent or music teacher, this checklist will help you organize before, during, and after practices for effective and fun practices.

INVITATION from Christy Hodder:

Speaking of amazing practices, let me tell you all about the digital course, the Practicing Pro Academy. This is for the serious practicing parents and music teachers and is an at-your-own-pace, step-by-step, online course to bring you more effective, positive, and fun home music practices. Registrants receive a special package in the mail from me, and I am with you in person with Q&As to answer all your questions.

Learn more about PPA and join the waitlist HERE for the next Practicing Pro Academy course. It's only offered once a year so you don't want to miss it. The registration will only open for a few weeks and I'll let everyone on the waitlist know immediately so that you can grab one of the spots.

LIKE, FOLLOW, and SHARE on Instagram and/or Facebook to be inspired and join the positive practicing music community.

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