Photo: Maxwell GS
As spring concerts, recitals and shows start filling our calendars your child may start getting a case of the dreaded nerves. When I first started playing at recitals, I would be so nervous everything I learned from my piano lessons went out the window. I would seem to forget everything, including how to sit at the piano to how to play.But when I learned some easy ways to get rid of my nerves I started playing my best.
Here are 5 ways to help your child calm down and rock out at their performance!
Accept and redirect:
When we are nervous it normally shows that we care about what we are about to do. We don't want to mess up because we have worked hard and are ready to show the world our talent! Instead of thinking of nerves in a negative light, look at them in a positive light.
*nerves mean you care
*nerves give you a little adrenaline that keeps you alert
*nerves are natural and you can get through them
When a person is nervous they tend to clench their jaw, wring their hands or move their legs quickly. Anxiety causes tension. Do a few simple stretches to relax and get the blood flowing.
*Shrug your shoulders toward your ears and rolling your head from side to side
*Bring one arm across your body and pull and do the same with the other side.
*Rotate your ankles and stretch your legs
* Shake your hands like you have just washed them and their isn't a towel around to dry them.
Silently Sing or Play:
Mentally review what piece you are playing or singing. You can even pretend you have the instrument in your hand and practice the motions. Doing this will allow your mind to relax and take focus to the task at hand.
Don't Go Bananas!:
Whenever you feel like you are going to get upset start to focus on your breathing and think happy thoughts. Say phrases to yourself like:
* It's OK to be upset, but I am in control
* I am great at what I do!
* I am going to conquer this
You can also think about a time where you did really well at something or a time when you where very relaxed. Close your eyes, take a breath and imagine you are there.
*Also, speaking of bananas, eat a banana, it helps lower anxiety.
Show off those teeth. Smiling helps relieve tension in our jaw and overall makes us feel happier. When we smile we are shrugging off the nerves and showing a confident exterior which will slowly come to the interior.
Remember "When your smiling, the whole world smiles with you."
So before your child starts to worry about how they will sound at their recital remind them that they are great, smile at them, rub their shoulders and hand them a banana! They are going to be wonderful this recital season and I am sure many people await to hear their talent!
Many times a parent will ask us, how young is too young for music lessons? We normally will tell them to think about their individual child and their personality and ability. Once the parent has decided that their young child is ready to step into the music world here are a few things to think about when choosing a teacher for their lessons.
Your new lesson teacher should know the difficulties of teaching younger beginners.
*students have a shorter attention span
* students tend to be wiggly
*the students can’t read on their own
* they have not fully developed coordination
So how do we do we teach these students?
An effective young beginner music teacher should be able to make each lesson smooth and prevent some of the difficulties of teaching a young beginner. When talking to your childs new music teacher ask the teacher about how they will run the lesson with your small child. They should say or explain some of these points.
Make lessons have short different parts.
An effective teacher should not spend the entire lesson on one technique. Each music lesson should have different sections that run for about 5 minutes. Anymore time then the five minutes and the child will start to loose interest.
Let your child wiggle in a structured way.
The teacher will play songs that allow them to “shake their sillies out” during the lesson. These kind of songs will allow the child to wiggle and squirm as much as they want, and also be teaching them about rhythm and pitch.
Help students learn visually.
Find a book that provided the student with a lot of pictures to help them understand what they are learning. If your child can't read yet, there are different books that help teach the child with pictures and graphs.
Use music for little hands.
Make sure the songs you are teaching are for little hands. Even though your child and you have the same amount of fingers, their hands may not be able to move as fast as yours. The books your new teacher should be teaching from should have songs developed for little hands.
The best way to know if your child will be sucessful in their new music lesson is talking to your new teacher and making sure you, your child and the teacher are comfortable with the lessons. Good luck and welcome to the world of music!