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How To Motivate Your Student Violinist When They Want To Quit

Since learning to play a sting instrument like the violin can be tough, it’s a pretty sure bet that at some point, most (if not all) of your promising students will want to quit. Therefore, many parents and music teachers look for effective ways to help prevent their student’s inevitable desire to jettison their previous training. Simply telling your student that almost everyone who quits music training before he or she has developed mastery won’t work. So, finding ways to motivate violinist students when they want to give up can be a challenge.

This list of music teacher tips can help. Since you know that students should train for at least eight years to develop the skills to become a self-learner, these tips and suggestions will help foster continued enthusiasm in beginner and intermediate violin students. However, parental involvement is also key. Discovering ways to motivate violinist students should be approached as a comprehensive strategy. One that encompasses both the home environment and the learning atmosphere. By using these music teacher tips and sharing them with parents, you can help limit the very natural desire to quit.

Build a supportive home environment.

This is an especially important area to pursue with young children. Think about the musical atmosphere that surrounds the student at home. Are different styles of music listened to? Do the parents ask questions about what their children like to hear, or what they think is an interesting or compelling part of a piece of music? These type of exploratory questions help motivate violinist students by expanding their curiosity about different music styles and genres. Children can be taught to emulate their parents values, and if music is celebrated as a way for personal expression, that will translate into a lifelong respect. 

Create an exciting learning atmosphere.

Similar to the home environment, the learning setting plays a role in maintaining enthusiasm for music training. Think about the pictures and decorations that are on your walls. Do they inspire or depress? Likewise, do you recognize milestones with appropriate celebrations? Children love to excel and are proud of their accomplishments. By distinguishing their progress, you motivate violinist students to earn the next honor, and fire them with a desire to keep growing in their musical ability. 

Prepare for the inevitable end of the honeymoon.

Most students are very eager and excited to try the violin. However, at some point, it will lose its luster and become just another chore. You can help prevent this waning enthusiasm by creating a goal and reward system that can be easily reached in a week or two. For example, the goal can be a practice certificate. If the child completes all of the assigned practices for “x” number of days, he or she receives a music related reward. Or, you can conduct weekly performance “bowls,” with double-elimination type rounds. The prizes aren’t as important as having a fun, regular competition.

Schedule frequent performances.

Motivate violinist students by giving them lots of opportunities to display their progress. One recital every six to nine months can seem like a lifetime away to young children. You can arrange small class performances, monthly, or reach out to the parents and your community to find affordable venues that will host small shows. By scheduling frequent recitals, students maintain their focus and enthusiasm for practice.

Communication is crucial.

One of the best music teacher tips involves encouraging communication. When you begin to notice a waning passion, try to talk to your student about the issue. He or she might simply be bored with the current curriculum and revive if offered the chance to learn popular music songs or another genre. Parents should also talk to their kids about any problems. It may be that another instructor would be best. And since the goal is to maintain music training, finding the right instructional fit for the student is paramount.

Give them a break.

Sometimes, burnout is a result of overdoing it. Your violinist might just need a scheduled break from training. If this is the case, set aside a certain amount of time to pursue other activities. Often, just taking a break can reenergize the love of music. You may want to suggest that during the break that the student attend a few concerts. Sometimes, students who see their goals manifested in another person will be encouraged to emulate that success.

Finding ways to motivate violinist students when they want to quit can be a challenge. However, with these music teacher tips, you can help prevent losing your best students from burn out or boredom, and help them develop lifelong diligence for learning and practicing the violin.

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