What to Do When Your Child Wants to Quit Lessons

Sometimes, you just want to quit. After weeks or months or years of lessons, you just want to give up and stop. We’ve heard it from our children just like you’ve heard it from yours. And we sympathize.

We get it: learning a new skill is hard for adults and children alike. Whether it’s how to do long division, how to throw a tight spiral, or how to play that new song, learning something new is challenging. But once you’re throwing touchdowns, making an A+, and showing off that new song to your friends, the rewards are pretty great.

After all, I’ve never met an adult who said, “I’m so glad my dad let me quit piano lessons,” or “It’s great that I gave up on the trumpet!” In fact, most adults I know wish their parents had helped them stick with it, giving them a gift that would last a lifetime.

So, when the quitting conversation comes, here’s a quick guide to sticking with it.

Get some “fun” music.

Sure, there are certain pieces of music that develop technical agility and musical nuance, and those are essential to the growth of any student. But, as an emergency measure, pick some music you love, and ask you teacher to help find an arrangement that you can master.

Perform more.

It seems counterintuitive, but performance is a great way to reignite the spark in a student. Find and perform music that is attainable, and schedule a time at a retirement home or garage band to play.

Try a new teacher.

I don’t recommend bailing on a great teacher, but if it’s between switching or quitting, I’d choose switch. Spend time with a new teacher may offer new teaching approaches that better connect.

Link to a reward.

For example, every minute of practice at home equals a minute (or 2 minutes) or screen time. Plus, offer “double miles” if the practice happens without being reminded.

Get over yourself.

This one is a hard one, because it centers around the parent instead of the student. Realize that you’d never let your child “quit science” or “quit math,” but instead you’d bug them and nag them no matter what! Don’t let your discomfort with encouraging your child steal their chance at success.


Sometimes, there just has to be a simple but decisive choice about the importance of music.

We’re here to help. Whether or not you take lessons at Dawson Music Academy, we’d be glad to brainstorm ways to help you and your child be successful. Contact us anytime.

Contributor John Woods is the Music & Worship Pastor of the Dawson Family of Faith.