Musical prodigies typically show strong signs of talent at a young age with musical performance being natural and easy. When a child shows signs of extraordinary musical talent, a parent may be tempted to push the child forward into specific achievements that the parent envisions and equates with success. However, pushing a highly talented child may destroy his or her passion; to encourage a child’s musical passion, a parent should support the child’s interests but not push the child in a particular direction.
Don’t Push a Prodigy
When a child has extraordinary skill, a parent’s response may be to put the child on display with many concerts, recitals, private lessons and musical groups. However, pushing the child forward into a structured – and perhaps rigid – performance environment may backfire; the child may not be as passionate about the direction the parent chooses.
Clear the Prodigy’s Path
A parent should clear the path forward for the talented child, offering the opportunity for private instruction, group performance opportunities and solo recitals, but the parent should let the child determine which direction his or her musical interests should head. If the child feels pressured or obligated to perform, he or she may lose the very passion that drives his or her talent. Selecting a music instructor who is skilled with inspiring students will help a child blossom. A music teacher with a master’s of music education will have the education and skills to help a child prodigy thrive.
Create a Supportive, Educational Environment
Developing a home environment that embraces the type of music the child prodigy loves will help the child immerse in the genre. Playing recorded music daily, going to concerts and playing live music regularly in the home will help the child experience music as a lifestyle.
Mozart and Beethoven
Mozart and Beethoven were pushed to perform as children, but they also lived in a very different time when music was a more intrinsic part of every household. Both musicians were taught by their fathers as children – Mozart in a more engaging, fun family environment, and Beethoven was taught in a high-pressure, punishing manner.
Child prodigies are born – not made. A parent who pays attention to a child’s interests and needs will bring out any extraordinary talents that exist with little effort or guidance; the child will independently pursue his or her musical passion.