Persistency in music lessons will pay off

Music education requires not a small amount of persistency in students and patience in their families.

After teaching piano for almost 20 years, some of the frustration I heard from parents include: "Oh my child is not interested in learning music," or " My child doesn't' like practicing, so I am not wasting my money."

Being a mother of three children, I understand that it is never easy to get your child motivated to do something that they have less interests in. Playing the iPad, watching television shows and going to outdoor playgrounds are activities that never need pushing. It is, however, always challenging and requires more coaxing to get them to revise their homework, to practice a musical instrument or to encourage them to read something outside their comfort zone.


One of my personal philosophies is never give up too soon. Persistency will pay off. There are numerous times when I encouraged my students to persist while preparing for examinations or public performances. Many students or even parents are unwilling to undergo the stress and discipline required to persist, as the process of the drilling, repetition, mastering to perfection is gruelling and tedious.

However, I have seen the pride and satisfaction on the students and their parents' faces when they see some achievements. I have seen many students getting more motivated after overcoming a hurdle because they felt a deep sense of achievement and knowing that they managed to accomplish something they never thought they could. I have seen students taking part in competitions and walking off the stage feeling they have done their best regardless of the results, knowing that their hard work have finally paid off.

I have seen my own children with their faces beaming with pride when they received some form of recognition from their teachers or peers. My reminder to them is always "Hard work always pays off! If you have given up earlier, you would not have achieved this much!"

Therefore, my advice to parents who are supporting their children's music education is don't give up when your child finds difficulties in playing with both hands. Don't give up when they have to play a repertoire much longer than needed in order to master it. Don't give up when they find practicing boring. They will definitely find the rainbow after the heavy storm and learn to appreciate the work they have done.

Dr Lee Pei Ming Dr Lee Pei Ming
Dr Lee Pei Ming is the founder of the music program Staccato! Music, which specializes in early childhood music and movement program. The program is based on her research on developing accurate pitching abilities in young children.