Three Tips for using Music Lessons to build your Child’s Self-Esteem    

Self-esteem is your overall sense of self-worth. It’s commonly linked to confidence because the higher the regard you hold for yourself, the more confidence you have in your abilities. Having low self-esteem can hold you back throughout life from achieving your potential.

It’s common for some parents to enroll their kids into extra-curricular classes such as music to help build their self-esteem. If your child has especially low self-esteem, music, dance, sports can help but here are 3 pointers to keep in mind to avoid exacerbating a volatile situation.

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1)   Prioritize positive feedback

After a performance, rather than focusing on what went wrong, the positive aspects of the performance should be celebrated. Try not to impose your perfectionist nature on your child. Be genuine and identify specific areas of strength and not generic and unbelievable compliments, which will be rejected.

Whilst constructive criticism is good in helping a student improve their skills, let it take a backseat till the ‘performance-high’ has worn off and it’s back down to business.


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2)   Do not compare

 Do not compare your child to other children as this only serves to give them a relative sense of self. This can hurt their self-esteem and confidence especially if others are put on a pedestal. They should feel valued on their own whether they are better or worse than the next student.

 The only comparison that should be made is to themself. How well did they perform this time compared to the last time?


 3)   Don’t let their extra-curricular activity or talent define them

 Someone once told me that I turn into superman when I get on stage behind a guitar. Whilst I was flattered at the compliment, it also made me ponder who I was offstage. Was I valued as a person without a guitar on my lap? Did I only have confidence when a guitar was in my hands?

 I’ve never had problems with self-esteem but over time I became very aware of how people can be boxed into identifying with only one facet of their complicated lives. To avoid this, ensure that you don’t only share the compliments when you speak of your child as footballer, dancer, musician…etc.

 Ensure that you reinforce a positive identity outside of them being talented performers. Define their self-concept outside of their ‘talents’. What positive characteristics do they bring to all aspects of their life?


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© Stefan Roach 2013