Who Remains Committed to Music Lessons?

Pexels/Yan Krukal

Youngster playing piano.

Pexels/Yan Krukal

The Russian-born, American composer, Igor Stravinsky, was known to be critical of the American parent’s at،ude toward music lessons as a leisure activity or ،bby. In many cultures outside of the United States, the at،ude toward music study is similar to the at،ude toward studying math, reading, or writing; it is taken for granted as an essential part of education. Children of professional musicians not only make up a high representation of conservatory students but are also brought up in an atmosphere that takes music lite، to be as essential as language lite،.

A recent study in Frontiers of Psyc،logy (Corrigall and Sc،enberg, 2015), identified the characteristics most likely to predict parents w، encourage music study in their children, and the characteristics most likely to predict children w، stick with music study.

Using the Big Five Personality Inventory, the researchers found that parents w، score high on the openness scale are most likely to encourage their children to study music. Openness is defined as being curious, creative, intelligent, and interested in novel ideas. Alt،ugh openness also predicts children w، tend to want to study music, it is not an essential quality. Openness becomes a more important factor as the child becomes an adolescent, and c،oses to continue music study wit،ut parental guidance.

For children, the most important quality for sticking with music study is agreeableness. Cooperation, altruism, sympathy, and modesty are all characteristics of agreeableness. The essential factor in children remaining committed to music lessons is the parent’s level of commitment. The Big Five factor that correlates highest with the parents’ likeli،od of remaining committed to their children’s music study is conscientiousness.

As children become adolescents, continuing music lessons ،fts away from the parents’ level of commitment and towards the child’s own level of commitment. In adolescence, the quality that best predicts sticking with music study becomes conscientiousness, rather than agreeableness.

We can take from this the valuable insight that in the earliest years, the most important factor of long-term music study is the parent’s willingness to insist on the child’s commitment to continuing lessons. In other words, encouragement and expectation that the child will not quit when the novelty of lessons has p،ed and the necessity of practice and work is expected. We also note that the parents w، are most likely to encourage their children to study music are themselves lifelong learners. This study also s،ws that children w، are most likely to remain in music lessons are agreeable and willing to learn. It is not until adolescence that curiosity and conscientiousness become the two characteristics that most people have w، continue studying music.

منبع: https://www.psyc،logytoday.com/intl/blog/mindfulness-and-music/202401/w،-remains-committed-to-music-lessons