Family Life

The Duggar Family’s Musical Background

posted: 04/12/13
by: Michelle Duggar


Photo: DCL

Question from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: Your family is so musical! Do all of the kids learn how to play a musical instrument?

Jim Bob and I are sadly not musically skilled at all so wanted our children to learn how to play and read music. Luckily for us, there was a precious widow who went to church with us and offered to teach our children for half price. We jumped at the offer and Josh started taking piano lessons with Nana when he was 5 years old. We call her Nana because we just love her so much, and she still teaches our kids piano now. She comes over every Monday and teaches our younger ones along with Jinger, who is getting ready to do her senior recitals.

We learned that by teaching them the piano first, they get a really strong base in music. Then they can pick up another instrument very easily and transfer that knowledge by reading music. We started out with Nana teaching each one at about the age of 5; they would start with piano and reading music. Later, our dear friends the Queerys started teaching our older children violin with the Suzuki method. Now they teach violin our 3-year-old. They start out with a tiny little foam violin, teaching them the proper way to hold it, how to take care of it and how to put it back in its little case. They begin with just the basics and by the time the kids are four or five they really know how to play.

Some days the kids really don't want to practice, but it's not a choice: it's just like schoolwork, you don't choose. It's the same way with math, and English, and spelling. After they really master the instrument, they just love it. It's like you can't keep them off of it, once they've really gotten where they can play and it sounds good; they're constantly pulling out their violins or sitting at the pianos and there's music all the time in our house. Helping them to be consistent with the practice and not letting them give up takes them to a level where they can play anything they want.

There's something to be said about music and how it speaks to us. By carefully picking the music that our children have listened to through the years, we've helped them learn to love and appreciate it. Jim Bob and I are just thrilled since we don't know how to play any instruments - we just enjoy hearing the beautiful music in our home.

Take a tour of the Duggars' Music Room!

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