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Book Review – I Wish I Didn’t Quit Music Lessons by Nathan Holder

I have had the pleasure of reading this wonderful book and I wanted to share it with you because I think it is an important read.

“I Wish I didn’t Quit Music Lessons” is a book all about how we can encourage and inspire young people who may have already quit or be thinking about quitting music lessons. This is something we can learn from as music teachers, and I read with interest some of the insightful and thought provoking advice in the book.

I guess initially you might think the book is aimed at parents, I guess in many ways it could be seen that way. But I feel that as a music teacher I have learnt a great deal from this book and also would recommend it to parents who may need some help and advice.

One thing I loved about this book was the practical advice. It talks about the relationship between parents, teachers & students and gives some really insightful advice about how to get the best out of these relationships. I loved reading the section about what children expect from their music lessons – they expect to improve, for lessons to be fun and not to necessarily feel too much pressure. Nathan also writes some practical tips for parents such as being punctual to lessons and to help at home with encouragement and discipline. It is all very practical and whilst some of it might be obvious, I think that it is important reading particularly for parents who didn’t learn an instrument themselves. I believe that is a key thing for us as music teachers – what is obvious to us isn’t always obvious to the non-musical parent or guardian.

There is a really interesting chapter on the idea of talent and what we are born with. The author uses the examples of Mozart & Haydn and stresses that ultimately hard work pays off and will help musicians develop. This is important because we don’t want to sell learning an instrument as being easy and quick, it is a balance and this book provides some interesting principles to help support this process.

Each chapter of the book ends with a Principal that sums up the chapter. Chapter 4 struck me as music teacher stating :

“Create a Musical Environment – Help your child to achieve their potential by surrounding them with music, instruments and people who will inspire them”

This is definitely also a message for music teachers and I guess it is always good for us to think about how we are creating the right environment for learning in our schools.

Principal 7 is also a good one – Pay attention to the process – raising awareness of the many skills they can acquire through learning an instruments. I think parents need to know that learning an instrument is so much more than being able to play some notes on a page!

And then there is a wonderful final chapter that is simply titled FAQ’s. We do all have questions and as music teachers we are frequently asked the same questions. This book would be great to have available to parents and encourage them to read it. I think parents have questions and we may not always have the answers. These questions might seem basic to us, but parents want the answers all the same. We have to support them and they will support their kids in their journey learning an instrument.

Nathan has included loads of quotes and examples from leading musicians and there is just so much wonderful content. It is a book that music teachers can learn from, but also a book that parents can learn from. I recommend that Music Hubs have this available and that parents are pointed to this book to gain practical advice and insight into the process of learning an instrument.

I recently blogged about how we need to help sell the benefits of music education and learning to play instruments & sing. This book is totally along those lines and it is a book that will help to support parents, teachers, hub leaders and even members of Senior Management who need to think outside the box and see the true and extensive benefits of music education. I want to see less students quitting and more students learning and I have been encouraged by this book to continue the battle! I want to see students getting all they can out of learning an instrument and I hope that you are able to get a copy of this book and get inspired. Thanks to Nathan Holder for writing this book and I am sure it will help parents, teachers, students and so many others to answer questions and inspire young people.

Get your copy on Amazon now – I Wish I Didn’t Quit Music Lessons

And do visit Nathan Holder’s website – https://www.iwishididntquit.com

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