We are asked about how to support a shy child in music classes really frequently. So, here are some helpful guidelines to follow...
Tip 1. Support then by keeping the session well regulated, limiting adult talking and starting off in a predictable way (for example, a hello song in a circle followed by nursery rhymes).
Tip 2. Remove the pressure. Allow children to watch without requesting they join.
Tip 3. Always include – even if you think they’ll refuse, always offer the props the others are using, eg. scarves or instruments.
Tip 4. If they join in, be wary of your response. Some children shy away from loud praise, sometimes continuing as you were with a wee smile in their direction is enough
Tip 5. Try and keep music sessions to small groups in quiet settings at predictable times
Tip 6. Avoid hand over hand interactions – let them come to it as they feel comfortable.
Some of the most musical children we’ve ever met never joined in at sessions. Rather, they soaked it all up like sponges and took it home to rehearse and create with.
This isn’t a performance, if the child is happy watching, that’s the best place for them.