Whether or not to let your child stop piano lessons over the summer is a common question parents ask themselves this time of year. With the end of school and the beginning of summer camps and activities, parents are often tempted to allow their child to take the summer off from learning the piano as their regular routine changes. However, we strongly advise against this practice, and here are a few reasons why.

If you stop piano lessons over the summer your child may experience:

1. Regression

Studies show that students who do not read during the summer tend to start behind their peers when school starts. The same holds true for playing an instrument. If students do not practice over the summer, any previous instruction can quickly be forgotten. Furthermore, once students do start their piano lessons again, it can be frustrating to have to relearn lost material.

2. Loss of Interest

Taking a long break from learning something can lead to a loss of interest all together. Some families may start out thinking summer is just a time for a break, but all too often when there is a long lull in piano lessons, many students begin to lose interest in starting back up. What started out as a break turns into trying to motivate your kids again to like piano at all.

To stop piano lessons in the summer there will be routine changes that can affect long term effectiveness.

3. Change in Schedule

Depending on your piano instructor, quitting your regular class or session time may result in a loss in lesson availability when your child is ready to start back up. Especially with highly sought instructors or schools, you may be put on a waiting list or scheduled at a time that is different than the one you had before.

4. Self discipline practice

With all the fun activities and free time that summer brings, a regular piano lesson will help with your child’s self discipline. Quitting when something gets difficult or when something becomes less fun is not a great life lesson to teach. If you want your child to continue to develop skills of perseverance and self-discipline, sticking with something even when it’s supposed to be “summer break” will make them stronger.

5. The benefits of routine

Most parents have experienced what life is like with a routine and what happens in their homes when routine gets disrupted. Changes to regular meal times, sleep patterns or other daily routines can have a negative effect on a child’s behavior. Regular music lessons can be considered part of a routine and provide structure and balance in the often busy and unstructured summer months.

Even though summer break is a time for relaxation and regrouping before the new school year, when it comes to piano lessons, children should continue with their regular schedule. Finding a balance where they can keep practicing without feeling stressed or overwhelmed while also not stopping completely is key.