Some children will genuinely be inspired by the sound of an instrument they have heard on the television, radio, recording or a live performance; but for many the opportunity to learn an instrument is limited through the choices they are offered at school, often resulting in the learning an instrument for which they are not ideally suited!
Parents have a large influence on why many children take up musical instruments. This can be a double-edged sword, as again a child may take up an instrument with which they have no particular affinity, making eventual failure inevitable. Therefore, it is important that every child is encouraged positively within the home environment to explore their individual musical tastes rather than having those of others imposed on them. This strategy is more likely to lead to the success of the young learner.
For many children, the driving force behind learning an instrument may be the longing to belong to a particular group or ensemble. Peer group pressure and various social reasons can dictate the choice of instrument, with group music making containing many elements of social definition through the subcultures and perceived self-images defined from membership.
Some children do have a definite longing to perform and communicate to others through the medium of music, and therefore lean naturally towards the desire to learn a musical instrument.
Other children use music as an opportunity for an emotional outlet, to facilitate relaxation, as mental stimulation or as a source of comfort. These reasons are however more likely to be discovered as a bi-product of initial learning rather than instigating the learning process but are very useful in encouraging long-term participation in music making.
Do you, as a teacher ever question why your students have chosen to learn that particular instrument?
If these are areas of teaching that you wish to explore further, why not visit www.estaeducation.co.uk to see what the EUROPEAN STRING TEACHERS ASSOCIATION can offer you in terms of professional development?