15 Benefits of Hands-on Instrument Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers’ Development

Did you know that playing musical instruments is not only fun for toddlers and preschoolers, but it also helps with their development? From improving hand-eye coordination to enhancing memory skills, there are many benefits to be had from hands-on instrument play. Keep reading to learn more about what these benefits are and how you can help your child get the most out of their music-making experiences.

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How to Find the Best Music Instructor : 6 Questions to Ask

As a parent, finding the right music instructor for your child can be a lot. With so many options out there, it’s hard to know where to start. You want to make sure they’re getting the most out of their experience and that they’re in an environment that’s conducive to learning. If you’re on the hunt for a music instructor for your child, here are five amazing questions to ask to ensure you find the perfect fit.

photo of people doing handshakes
Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

#1: What are your qualifications? 

It’s important to make sure that the instructor you choose is qualified to teach music. Ask about their education and experience in both teaching music and performing. The more qualified they are, the better equipped they will be to help your child reach their musical goals. Any good music instructor will be more than happy to share their qualifications with you. After all, they should be proud of their achievements! 

A qualified instructor will have proper formal schooling in music, and ideally years of personal teaching experience. Of course, some excellent instructors are new to teaching. If they’re relatively inexperienced, decide if that’s a disqualifier for you or if you’re okay with it as long as they’re working with a more experienced mentor and being closely monitored and or trained.

#2: Do you have experience teaching children like mine? 

You’ll want to be sure your child’s instructor takes ALL of these factors into consideration when planning and teaching your lessons:

  • Age
  • Learning style
  • Personality and temperment
  • Learning differences and Body differences
  • Relevant behavior or health diagnosis 

While some may specialize in teaching adults, others may only feel comfortable working with children. You want to make sure that your child’s teacher is comfortable working with kids their age, as this can make a big difference in how well they’re able to learn with this person. 

It’s also important to be sure they’re really aware of how to format a lesson to maximize the success of different students. Younger or more active students likely need more variety and integrations of play-based learning. Other students might learn better by being able to concentrate on one activity for longer periods. You can dig a little deeper on this question by asking specifically “what kind of teaching approaches might you use for a student like my child?” 

Make sure the answer you get is coming from a confident, open-minded, informed place. 

children with her students holding different color bells

#3: What is your approach to teaching? 

This question is important because it will give you a sense of what the instructor values, how they go about imparting knowledge, their approach to teaching, and what the class dynamic will be like. Some instructors believe in a more old school or traditional approach to lessons while others may take a more creative, go-with-the-flow route. 

There are also teachers who take a more innovative approach by gravitating more towards one approach or the other, depending on the needs of the individual student. This kind of teacher is especially handy if you are looking for one instructor for two very different students. There is no right or wrong answer here, as long as you feel it works well for your child and their learning style. 

an instructor teaching a girl how to sing

#4: What’s your teaching philosophy? 

Do they believe all lessons should look and sound the same? Do they focus on technical mastery, or do they focus on creativity and self-expression? Asking about the instructor’s teaching philosophy will help you get a feel for whether or not their style is a good fit for your child. Some teachers display a philosophy statement in their space or on their website. Even if they don’t have a philosophy statement, they should be able to clearly communicate their teaching philosophy. 

Here’s our philosophy statement at Music Junkie Studios: 

We reject a one-size-fits-all approach to education and believe that music education should be an individualized experience, catering to the specific needs and passions of the student. We believe that each student has something unique and special to offer. We will assist our students to express themselves and accept themselves for who they are, as well embrace the differences of others. 

We believe a stimulating environment where students can grow mentally, emotionally, and socially is essential for their development. We will provide a safe environment for students to share their ideas and take risks. 

We strive to instill a love of learning in our students. We are dedicated to continuous growth as educators and are committed to providing the best possible experience for each and every student. We believe that we owe it to our students, as well as the local community, to bring consistency, creativity, positivity, excellence, diligence, and warmth to our jobs in the hope that we can ultimately inspire and encourage such traits in our community as well.  

#5: What do you expect from your students? 

This question goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. It’s essential to know what the instructor expects from their students in terms of dedication and effort outside of the lesson time. Knowing what is expected of your child can help alleviate any stress or anxiety they may feel about taking the class. It’s also important to share your own desires and preconceptions about the expectations of your child. Discussing your overall goals for lessons and reaching agreement on how to approach them is so important. 

Depending on the instructor and the organization they work within, you could learn the weekly practice expectation is WAY different than you assumed. If so, you’ll have to decide between accepting the difference or not. If not, it’s probably not going to be a good fit.

Similarly, if they operate their lessons with a different level of structure than you expect, that could also pose a problem down the road. If you’re looking for a lot of structure and the teacher is free flowing with their teaching format, or you’re hoping for a freely flowing expressive session but the instructor is more regimented than you hoped, you’re bound to dislike your experience. Be sure you’re on the same page in terms of expectations before moving forward. 

#6: What Can I Do To Support My Child’s Lessons? 

Asking this question shows that you’re invested in your child’s musical development and that you want to do what you can to help them succeed. A good instructor will have no problem sharing ideas with you on how you can support your child outside of their lessons. Honestly, a good instructor will probably overload you with ideas here – because they really care about their student’s success. Whether it’s tips on which books to buy or ideas for simple at-home exercises, a good instructor will always be willing to help parents help their children. 


So, what are the right questions to ask when looking for a music teacher for your child? We hope that our list has given you a good starting point. Asking about teaching style, qualifications, and expectations is a great way to get started, but don’t stop there! Be sure to also ask about the teacher’s approach to learning music and how they foster a love of music in their students. By taking the time to find the perfect match for your family by getting a sense for their teaching style, qualifications, and expectations, you’ll be giving your child an incredible gift – the opportunity to learn and grow through music. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Thanks for reading!

Read the previous blog

Growing Your LOVE of Music | Cultivating Interests | Expanding Understanding | Honing Skills

Music Junkie Studios  location: 1701 Enderly Place Fort Worth, TX 76104  phone: (682) 499-5732 email: musicjunkiestudios@gmail.com

Find Out More About Our 1-on-1 Music Lessons Here

Piano Lessons Voice Lessons Guitar Lessons Bass Lessons Drum Lessons Violin Lessons Ukulele Lessons Songwriting Lessons Home Recording Lessons BANDS

We fully customize all Music Lesson instruction because:

  1. We value about who you are as an individual
  2. We care to know what you need to succeed & have fun while doing it
  3. We care about your goals and interests
  4. We know one-size-fits-all programs don’t work

Ready to get started with Music Lessons at MJS? 

Amazing! We can’t wait to welcome you. Just click here to sign up online  🙂

Copyright Music Junkie Studios September 2022 – Kristi Judd

7 Ways to Encourage a Love of Learning in Your Child

As a parent, you want your child to grow up to be a well-rounded, happy person. A big part of that is helping them to develop a love of learning. After all, learning is the key to success in life! As a parent, you have the unique opportunity to instill a love of learning in your children. After all, children are like sponges, soaking up everything they see and hear from the people around them. 

There are many things you can do to encourage a love of learning in your child and show them that learning is a lifelong process that isn’t just limited to school. Here are a few ways you can do that. 

photo of girl reading book. Love of Learning
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Encourage a love of learning by being a good role model.

If you want your child to develop a love of learning, it’s important that you model that behavior yourself. Here’s why: Parents are the #1 influence in their children’s lives. More specifically, the parent of the same gender as the child has the MOST influence on that child’s development. 

Parents often don’t believe this, but in a recent Parents Empowered survey, surprising results were concluded. As predicted, parents placed themselves last in the line-up of influences on their children – after friends, teachers and media.  But when the youth answered the same question, they placed their parents first – before family, friends, teachers, and activities/clubs. This is GOOD NEWS!

I have a child of my own and his dad and I are intentional in letting him see us learning – not on occasion. Often. We’re constantly reinforcing how much fun learning can be, even when it’s hard. And it’s working! My son’s a bright kid who (so far) loves learning new things.

If you want your child to love learning, it’s important that they see you loving learning too! Make sure to set aside time each week for personal development. Read regularly and be sure to let your child see you doing it. When you come across something interesting, share it with your child and talk about why you found it interesting. This sends the message that learning is something that is enjoyable and rewarding and it’s something that adults do too. 

When you share what you’re learning with your child, you’re opening the door for meaningful conversations about the world around them. Whether it’s reading, taking an online course, learning an instrument, or even just listening to educational podcasts, if your child sees you making time for ongoing learning, they’ll be more likely to want to do the same. 

woman reading a book to the children

Find teachers who model a love of learning.

In addition to seeing their parents modeling a love of learning, children also need to see their teachers doing the same. We know that teachers play a big role in shaping kids’ attitudes towards learning. When teachers are constantly sharing what they’re learning and how they’re growing, it helps create an environment where students feel inspired to do the same. 

Story time! I was chatting with a new student the other day about some things I’m learning right now. I noticed she was looking at me with a surprised expression and when I asked her what was up she responded “I didn’t know that teachers kept learning after college!” This child was under the impression that her teachers were DONE learning the day they graduated college. After I recovered from the honest shock of that admission, I thought to myself.. How sad and completely unfortunate. 

I’m always learning, and I love it. In fact, I think that’s one of the most important things we can do as role models – educators, parents, grandparents, aunties, whatever – to keep learning and growing. Every day, I’m exploring new subjects, reading about new ideas, and challenging myself to grow my knowledge. It’s a never-ending journey, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I know that for my students, it’s reassuring for them to see that their teacher is always learning too. It helps students and encourages them to know that we are all really a never-ending work in progress. It helps them feel like we’re all on a learning journey, and that we’re in this together. Talk to your child’s teachers about their views on life-long learning and ask how they incorporate those views into their lessons. Celebrate the teachers who are passionate about learning and who openly share their own journey of continued learning. 

a phrase spelled with scrabble tiles

Be careful with your words. 

While it’s important to model a love of learning for your child, it’s also important to be careful about what you say about learning in front of them. Many parents inadvertently discourage a love of learning in their children by the way they talk about it. For example, comments like “I’m so glad I’m not in school anymore” or “I can’t wait until you’re done with this class,” or “I’m so glad I don’t have to learn this stuff” send the message that learning is something to endure rather than enjoy. 

Let’s get real honest for a minute. It’s super tough to gain a positive mindset about or a love of learning if the environment around you is dragging you in to a negative space. Negative thoughts and attitudes are more likely to take hold when the environment around you makes them feel welcome.

Instead, focus on talking about how much fun it is to learn new things and how there’s always more to learn no matter how old you are. Try phrases like “I’m excited to learn more about this topic with you” or “I can’t wait to see what you’ll know by the end of this course.”

There are so many exciting things to learn and experience in life. No matter how old you get, there will always be new knowledge waiting to excite us so embrace your own love of learning, put on a positive mindset and choose your words carefully.

Encourage your children to ask questions and seek out answers on their own.

One of the best ways to encourage your child and grow a true love of learning is by encouraging them to ask questions and seek out answers on their own. This means allowing them time to explore their interests, whether that’s through reading books or magazines, playing with toys or puzzles, or anything else they enjoy doing. It also means answering their questions as fully as you can. 

Help them to see the relevance in what they’re learning. 

To do this, you can find stories of inspiring people involved in the topic they’re learning. It’s important to help children understand how they can use knowledge in their everyday lives. Show them how math is used when cooking or baking, for example. Or explain how science comes into play when riding a bike or playing sports. Helping them make those connections will not only make the material more relatable for them, but it will also help them see how valuable it actually is, building in to a love of learning.

a girl using a microscope

Spark their curiosity

One way to develop your child’s interest in and love of learning is by sparking their curiosity about the subjects they’ll be studying. You can do this by finding age-appropriate books, toys, and games that relate to what they’ll be learning. Find additional resources or experiences that offer deeper learning.

For example, if your child is starting to learn about numbers and counting, you can buy them a counting toy or playset. If they’re going to be learning about plants and animals, you can take them on hikes and point out different types of plants and animals along the way. There are endless possibilities when it comes to this – the key is to get them excited about what they’re going to be learning so they’re motivated to actually learn it.

Help them develop a growth mindset. 

One of the best things you can do for your child is to help them develop a growth mindset. This means teaching them that intelligence is not fixed but rather something that can be developed over time with effort and practice. When children have a growth mindset, they’re more likely to view setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow rather than as failures. They understand that mistakes are a necessary part of the learning process and are more likely to persevere when they encounter difficulty. Helping your child develop a growth mindset will set them up for success both in school and in life and set you well on your way to a solid love of learning.


Fostering a love of learning from an early age is one of the best things you can do as a parent. It will set them up for success not just in school but in life as well. If you want your child to grow up loving learning, it’s important that you take an active role in encouraging them. Show them that learning is a lifelong process that can be enjoyable and rewarding. By being a good role model yourself, finding teachers who model a love of learning, and being careful with the words you use about learning, you can set your child up for success both now and in the future. 

Remember to focus on getting your children interested in the subjects they’ll be learning, showing them how what they’re learning can be applied in real life, and encouraging them to ask questions and seek out answers on their own. Once you’re fostering a growth mindset, your child will develop a lifelong love of learning that will serve them well throughout their education and beyond. You’re well on your way to raising a happy, well-rounded child who loves to learn!

Read the previous blog

Growing Your LOVE of Music | Cultivating Interests | Expanding Understanding | Honing Skills

Music Junkie Studios  location: 1701 Enderly Place Fort Worth, TX 76104  phone: (682) 499-5732 email: musicjunkiestudios@gmail.com

Find Out More About Our 1-on-1 Music Lessons Here

Piano Lessons Voice Lessons Guitar Lessons Bass Lessons Drum Lessons Violin Lessons Ukulele Lessons Songwriting Lessons Home Recording Lessons BANDS

We fully customize all Music Lesson instruction because:

  1. We value about who you are as an individual
  2. We care to know what you need to succeed & have fun while doing it
  3. We care about your goals and interests
  4. We know one-size-fits-all programs don’t work

Ready to get started with Music Lessons at MJS? 

Amazing! We can’t wait to welcome you. Just click here to sign up online 🙂

Copyright Music Junkie Studios September 2022 – Kristi Judd

How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child: 3 Factors to Consider

You’ve finally decided to give in to your child’s pleas for music lessons, and you’re eager to get them started on their journey because you know that music is a great way for kids to express themselves and explore their creativity! But before you can start lessons, you need to pick an instrument. You might be wondering what kind of instrument is the best fit for them. It’s a big decision, and one that you shouldn’t take lightly.

After all, the instrument they start with could likely be the one they stick with for many years to come. So how do you choose? In this blog post, we’ll show you how to pick the perfect starter instrument for your child and give you some things to consider as you choose so that they can get the most out of their music lessons.

How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child
How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child – Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com


Firstly, and arguably MOST importantly, you’ll want to choose an instrument that will inspire your child to spend time with it for practice time. Interest is both a psychological state of attention and affect toward a particular object or topic, and an enduring predisposition to re-engage over time. It’s a powerful motivational process that energizes learning, guides success trajectories, and is essential to curricular and extracurricular success.

If students are not genuinely interested in the instrument, they’re not likely to enjoy practice. At MJS, we believe that taking enjoyment out of the lesson is a massive no-no..   Here’s why: The student, when forced to play something they don’t enjoy – often and easily confuses their dislike for the instrument with a dislike for playing music as a whole …and that is just not something we’re interested in (or willing to be) contributing to!! 

Then there’s also the fact that these students just won’t get the most out of their music lessons, which practically turns the lesson into a glorified babysitting session / waste of time and money.

Talk to your child about their interests and see if there’s an instrument that they’re particularly drawn to. If they have a natural affinity for a certain instrument, that’s usually a good place to start. However, sometimes it takes trying out a few different instruments before landing on the right one. Most studios are willing to work out a few lessons on each instrument you’re seriously considering to help you (and your child) decide!

If your student isn’t really sure what excites them, think about it this way. If they’re interested in a particular type of music, like rock or folk, there are instruments that are better suited for those genres. If they’re interested in rock music, a rock instrument like guitar or drums might be the best option. If they love singing, you might be best served to find a voice teacher with experience in pop and rock genres.

If they generally prefer calmer music, then a ukulele, violin, or piano might be better suited for them. For singing, a classical approach might suit this type of student. Ultimately, your child will be impacted most by the decision — so be sure to involve them in the process!

How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument
How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child – Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com


Start simple – think about accessibility and practicality when choosing a starter instrument. For example, if your child is interested in playing the piano but you don’t have one in your home or regular access to one, it may be more practical to start with an instrument like the ukulele which is more affordable and doesn’t require a lot of space. 

A good keyboard is a great alternative for those without a piano, but those can be a little pricey and not everyone’s ready for that upfront investment. It’s important to remember that once your child has really explored and experienced their starter instrument, they can always move on to an instrument that requires a little more investment and commitment when they’re ready.

How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child
How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child – Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com


Another thing to consider is practicality. Some instruments, like pianos and drums, can take up a lot of space, make loud sounds, and be quite expensive. Others, like guitars and violins, offer more affordable options and the noise level can be more easily managed. 

You’ll also want to think about how portable the instrument is. If your child plans on taking their instrument with them wherever they go, a smaller option like a ukulele or small acoustic guitar might be best. Large instruments are hard to move about and therefore take special arrangements to manage ongoing lessons, like having to learn online or invest in two instruments – one for the lesson space and one for home practice. 

You also want an instrument that’s practical for your situation. For instance, if you live in an apartment, it might not be wise to get an acoustic drum set. To learn drums, you might need to invest in an electric set you can use headphones with. If you have young children, you might not want an expensive violin in the house, because of the higher cost of repair or replacement. 

How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child
How to Pick the Perfect Starter Instrument for Your Child – Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

Congratulations on taking the important step of finding the right starter instrument for your child!

It can be daunting to find the perfect one, but if you take into account all of the factors we’ve mentioned in this post – inspiring, accessible, and practical – you’re sure to have a winner. And if you ever have any questions or need some hand-holding along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out. This is an exciting time, and I want to make sure you have all the information you need to make the best decision for your family. I want nothing more than for your family to get as much joy out of music lessons as possible! Here’s my email: musicjunkiestudios+kristi@gmail.com   I’ll personally reply within 2 days 🙂

Growing Your LOVE of Music | Cultivating Interests | Expanding Understanding | Honing Skills

Music Junkie Studios location: 1701 Enderly Place Fort Worth, TX 76104 phone: (682) 499-5732 email: musicjunkiestudios@gmail.com

Find Out More About Our 1-on-1 Music Lessons Here

Piano Lessons Voice Lessons Guitar Lessons Bass Lessons Drum Lessons Violin Lessons Ukulele Lessons Songwriting Lessons Home Recording Lessons BANDS

We fully customize all Music Lesson instruction because:

  1. We value about who you are as an individual
  2. We care to know what you need to succeed & have fun while doing it
  3. We care about your goals and interests
  4. We know one-size-fits-all programs don’t work

Copyright Music Junkie Studios September 2022 – Kristi Judd


We’re combining one-on-one instruction with group rehearsals and live performances, creating more well-rounded musicians who feel confident playing with other musicians as a band.

Here are a few benefits you’ll see from our BANDS experience:

Friendship and Knowledge

People who bond over a shared interest often form the strongest bonds. When you join BANDS, you’re joining a community of people who love music as much as you do. You’ll be able to share your knowledge and learn from others in the group. This is an opportunity to make some of the most lasting friendships of your life. If you’re looking for a way to connect with others and make some great memories, joining BANDS is the perfect solution. Nothing will compare with being part of a community that shares your passion.

Less Pressure

When you’re playing in a group, there’s a team dynamic that takes some of the stress away. Small mistakes get easily lost in the larger sound of the group, and progress is made together with your BANDS. When you’re playing by yourself, it’s easy to be aware of every little mistake you make, which can be very discouraging. The team effort involved in playing in a group can take a lot of that stress away and help you to relax and enjoy the music and environment.

Reinforced Learning

Students of all ages can understand why they learn to do something in a particular way when it’s reinforced in the work they accomplish as a group in BANDS. This is a great learning technique. To understand why is a good reason to continue. It’s a great motivator. This can help the students become more engaged and excited to progress even further.

When students are able to see how what they’re learning applies to the success of the group, it helps them retain the information better and also see its importance. This often leads to increased excitement and motivation as students see how everything they’re learning fits together like a puzzle. This is a vitally important part of the educational process.

Confidence Boost

Participation in a musical group like BANDS can provide a boost to students’ confidence levels. Through regular practice, students develop their musical skills and become more capable musicians. Joining our BANDS experience allows students to share their talents with others and see how their contributions help to create something greater. This can promote self-esteem and confidence, as well as a sense of belonging and camaraderie. In addition, musical performance provides an opportunity for students to express themselves creatively and connect with their audience more confidently.

Connection and Trust

We crave connections and musical groups and musical ensembles are built on connections and trust. In fact, music has been a key factor in forming bonds in groups and cultures around the world for a very long time. Our BANDS experience can be a supportive environment to propel cooperation and, consequently, fuel trust within its members. In today’s society, where we are often disconnected from our neighbors and communities, developing these types of connections can be more important than ever. By coming together to make music, we can learn to trust and cooperate with one another, benefiting both individuals and society as a whole.

If you’re interested in ways to make your learning process easier and more enjoyable, look no further than our BANDS experience. With friendship and knowledge at the core of the program, you can take the pressure off yourself and enjoy a relaxed environment where learning is reinforced. Plus, with a confidence boost from gaining new and sharper skills, you can connect with others in a deeper way and create trust-based relationships that will be beneficial in all areas of your life.

The benefits of friendship, knowledge, and support are truly invaluable. Not only will you feel a sense of relief from sharing the pressure of growth and performance, but your work from private lessons will be reinforced and your confidence boosted. Most importantly, through our program you will form connections with others who share your interests and build trust among this community. What could be better than that?

Next Steps

If you’re ready to sign up for an incredible journey filled with growth and support, click here to apply now! We can’t wait to have you join us!

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