My story involves a life-long participation in music. I must have been an easy sort. I went with the flow, and maybe I understood I had to play something, because I did not out-and-out rebel against playing something. I took piano lessons , then thought it would be cooler to play accordion. Took lessons almost 12 years on accordion, and still took up trumpet in the 6th grade. Sure, there was a time when I wanted to quit. Accordion that is, but never did. The parental unit seemed to offer up a new instrument with the stipulation that I was to put in more time. The idea new instrument seemed to work. It only cost me 3 years more of playing. That ploy worked twice! I ended up with a pretty nice accordion.
So, I had incentives. Extrinsically I had a mother who played piano…She played one song really well. Dad played trumpet through college, and almost became a music teacher. My uncle played French Horn and had dabbled in music after high school. Intrinsically, I had the desire to be better than the older kids. I set my sights on the better players in high school, and one-by-one, I picked them off. I started off last chair as a sophomore, and by the end of the year had challenged through another sophomore and and three seniors.
Back to the theme..What can we do as parents? I had a better-than-average understanding of music. So let us get our kids small group or private lessons, if there is time, resources and energy. If you don’t have those attributes, take your student to some cool performances that feature the instruments. Go to school or local university/community college concerts. Catch some locals at the nearby events that happen in the summer. Encourage them learn piano, guitar or ukulele to understand theory better. Theory is such a mundane word that really has some significance in developing an appreciation of the intrinsic value of music. It is that “Intrinsic value” that hooks kids to the passion of music.