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To let my DTs give up their music lessons?

(20 Posts)
mumtomaxwell Sun 11-Sep-16 17:08:28

My twin sons (8) have had drum tuition (after school) for a few months - they bought themselves a 2nd hand drum kit with some birthday money - and have made good progress. They seem to love the teacher and the lessons.

The problem is I just can't get them to practice! They sit at the kit and cry, saying its all got too hard, and they want to give up the lessons.

AIBU to give up on drum lessons? They do cubs and swimming lessons but that's it for extra-curricular.

HeCantBeSerious Sun 11-Sep-16 17:12:17

I was the same. I was forced to keep practicing and keep taking the lessons and (with hindsight) I'm so glad I was. So many benefits to having a musical strand in your life.

PacificOcean Sun 11-Sep-16 17:23:01

It can go either way though. My best friend was made to keep practising and she now won't go near an instrument.

RhiWrites Sun 11-Sep-16 17:26:25

Why would you want twin drummers? You've been given an out. Take it!

happypoobum Sun 11-Sep-16 17:29:13

Given that they are actually crying over it, no YANBU to let them give up.

Cubs and swimming sounds like plenty.

Rhi grin

madmother1 Sun 11-Sep-16 17:29:34

I let my DS give up piano many years ago as the teacher told me it was a waste of my money if he didn't practise. It was wonderful not nagging him after that. He's now 20 and says none of his musical friends play anymore! I know one gifted child of a friend who has never needed lessons and taught himself. Don't feel bad about it.

charmund Sun 11-Sep-16 17:38:09

Do it! Extra curricular activities are meant to be fun

Enidblyton1 Sun 11-Sep-16 17:50:47

I would do it too - you can always keep drum set in the loft for a bit in case they want to come back to it later. In the meantime enjoy the peace and quiet grin

LugsTheDog Sun 11-Sep-16 17:56:03

Do they have the "tools" to practice successfully - do they know what and even how to practice, have you helped by carving out a regular slot in their routine? I think an 8 year old can need quite a lot of support in their practising. Assuming you've tried all that, give them a serious warning and a sticker chart as last chance then let them quit.

Personally I'm not averse to them quitting but I'd want them to have a really good shot at succeeding first. My parents just expected me to be able to practise without any support... if they'd been the same with times tables I'd never have learned them!

LugsTheDog Sun 11-Sep-16 18:03:49

Just to add if my post seems harsh when they are crying, DD has cried over practice too but it was because she felt she couldn't play the pieces. If I sat with her, helped her clap out the rhythms etc she could do it. She loves her instrument, she just needs support with her practice - and it is support, not me forcing her.

andintothefire Sun 11-Sep-16 18:06:54

I would continue with the lessons (if you can afford it) but stop worrying about whether they practise. Their teacher will tell them to practise more if necessary, and my own view is that it is best to encourage musical activity in a way that they enjoy. If that means they don't take grade exams or progress very quickly, that is fine - it is the continued interest in music that is most important.

I think that being able to play an instrument is a real gift, and too many children get disillusioned by having to practise when they are tired or by the pressure of exams. If they continue, they will start to find it much easier and more enjoyable, and will be likely to motivate themselves eventually.

Having said that, 8 is very young and it may be that it is best to give them some time off for now and encourage them to take it up for fun again in a few years.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Sun 11-Sep-16 18:17:56

I did piano and guitar for a lot longer than I should have. I didn't want to disappoint my parents.

I can still sightread which has been helpful once in the past 18 years (on here actually on a thread about it) but other than that I've never played or had any opportunity to play. Or wanted to.

I don't know, I'm of the opinion to not flog a dead horse. They haven't got enthusiasm for it, why try and force it?

mumtomaxwell Sun 11-Sep-16 18:24:31

Thanks for all the sound advice.

They do love the lessons it's just practising that's the problem. I usually try and do the exercises myself then whichever son's turn it is to be practising will come and take over. So, I'm actually learning too!! I had flute lessons from age 9 until I left school at 18 and certainly didn't practice every day (unless I had a grade exam coming up) so maybe I should just let them enjoy it as much as possible.

supersop60 Sun 11-Sep-16 18:30:18

Speaking as a music teacher, it's a right PITA when students don't practise because they don't make any progress. If they truly hate it, then sure, let them give up. If it's just practising that's a problem, try just doing 5-10 minutes. For drummers, there may be 'easy' backing tracks you can get, which will make it more fun, OR change teacher - a change of approach might help.

Eva50 Sun 11-Sep-16 18:37:55

It's such a difficult one as I really regret giving up piano as a child. Ds3 often cries over piano or cello practice but loves his lessons and adores performing. Dh thinks we should stop the lessons as we can't really afford them but his teacher thinks he is very musical and I feel we should push encourage him. His brothers both play and get so much out of it and he's not going to be sporty so it gives him something he can excel at.

Not much help really!

mumtomaxwell Sun 11-Sep-16 18:53:53

Actually Eva that's why I want to encourage them... They hate sports and are a bit crap at it but love art/music/baking. I wish art and baking were offered as clubs more often!

Nottalotta Sun 11-Sep-16 19:00:20

I was forced to continue piano and then violin as a child. I didn't mind piano, hated violin, but loved the cornet (which is what I started with) but was made to give that up to do violin. I can't and could never read music, not fast enough to play, so practice took a million times longer than it should.

My mum used to come and Sir next to me when I was practicing which just used to piss me off even as a 7 year old, and make me perform when her friends came round. I would probably have continued piano if I had been left alone. But it was made miserable for me.

So after all that, maybe try short practices every other day and if no improvement, let them stop.

Witchend Sun 11-Sep-16 19:17:38

Have you tried saying to them that if they don't do a certain length of practise a week you'll stop the lessons? That would be my first position.

Seeyouontheotherside Sun 11-Sep-16 19:23:02

Your neighbours will like you a lot more if they don't practice. Why not let them do something they enjoy (and no they're not enjoying it when they're crying in front of the drums), that doesn't involve inflicting noise pollution on everybody who lives in hearing and vibration distance. The only thing worse than living near a drummer is a learner drummer.

LugsTheDog Sun 11-Sep-16 19:23:08

Ah fair enough OP, sounds like you are doing a lot to encourage them already.

I am firmly on the fence then, sorry!

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