As a Columbus Ohio family photographer, I’m always meeting local parents who work in the community as small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. My friend Gwendolyn is the founder of Rehm Studios LLC in Worthington, where she offers private music lessons which are both engaging and fun. Not only is Gwendolyn a talented musician, cool mom, and just a great person to know, but she was also incredibly generous enough to share her time and expertise to write today’s guest post. So without further ado, here’s Gwendolyn!:

A family plays electric guitars in their living room in Columbus Ohio

The benefits of learning music as a family

With the New Year begun, many people have made their goals for 2024.  One of mine is to be more intentional with my children, as they are little and we only have a limited amount of time with them at home.  As the owner of my own business, Rehm Music Studios, LLC, I’ve been on a mission to make my business successful, help people on their musical journey regardless of age of ability, and above all have fun!

I always knew my children’s lives would be full of music, but never wanted to push them into taking lessons.  My son decided last summer he was ready to start and it has been AMAZING to see his growth, both in lessons and on his own.  Of course I still have to remind him to practice, but about once a week he’ll call me over to the piano to have me listen to a song he wrote or a new song he taught himself. 

This may be a daunting task for someone who doesn’t have a musical background, but learning WITH your kiddos is one of the best ways to not only help them succeed in music, but also help you have fun with them too.

A boy plays a white Yamaha piano in his living room in Columbus Ohio

1. You don’t have to be the world’s best musician (in fact, sometimes it’s better if you’re not)

Kids need to see their parents try new things, fail, and try again. They will be more willing to take risks themselves after seeing you go through the process.  Kids need to see you ask questions and say, “I honestly don’t know.”  They will learn to ask for help that way.  

If you DO have a music background, this is your reminder that your kids need to hear you practice.  They need to hear you work through the wrong notes, flubbed runs, and number of repetitions it takes to improve or polish a piece.  

Having instruments in your family photos is a non judgemental way to capture this joy and fun.  Growing up, I have many pictures at pianos, sharing a bench with my sister, and playing in a variety of concert halls.  From the picture alone, no one can tell what you sound like!  Bring out the guitars, drums, keyboards, and have fun because singing silly songs especially makes for great laughter and relaxed pictures!

A family plays musical instruments together in their backyard in Columbus Ohio

2. WE all want ways to have fun with our kids — the added benefit is making our lives more beautiful.

You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll be playing duets together, even if it is both of you playing the same song in different octaves, or one person playing Treble Clef while the other plays Bass Clef. (Another favorite of mine is having the adult take the “hard part” so they can learn it by ear first. OR have them take the “hard part” of the song they recently mastered  so you can celebrate their growth together.) The amount of pride they will have playing for other people (even if it’s just their stuffies) will add so much joy to your family’s lives.  

Emerson plays the ukelele in his backyard in Columbus Ohio

3. It will become part of your daily life

It has been amazing the number of times I am cooking dinner or tidying up that I hear the piano keys start to play.  Or they’ll figure out their obsession song on the keys. You’ll find yourself humming more, singing more, and exposing them to music that they may have never heard before.  

Wherever you are on your musical journey, I encourage you to pick up an instrument and try, and find a way to include your children too!  I always share the words of my bassoon professor, Christopher Weait, “I don’t expect you to become a world famous musician. But I DO expect you to become a great appreciator and consumer of art, and to contribute to the world through the hard work you’ve learned in studying your instrument.”  

Coledyn plays the triangle while sitting on his mom's lap

Hi there!

I’m Daisy, and you’re very welcome here.

I’m a documentary Columbus Ohio family photographer offering stress-free and fun portrait experiences. I hope you enjoyed The Benefits of Learning Music as a Family, and if you’d like to chat about your own family photos, smash that button below. Can’t wait to hear what wild and wonderful things you’re dreaming up!

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