This study aimed to investigate parental beliefs regarding children’s music learning in Kuala Lumpur. It examined the reasons behind parental support for private instrumental tuition, the effect of parental conceptions of ability, as well as the influences of their own involvement in music. The study utilised a mixed methods approach in data collection. Reasons behind parental support for private instrumental tuition include the desire to provide their children with a well-rounded education, enjoyment of playing a musical instrument and to nurture musical ability. These ‘motherly’ motives correlated significantly with those of a more competitive nature, such as providing music education as a means to maximise their children’s potential in every area and to provide their children with an extra skill when compared to peers. Parents were also inclined to provide music lessons for non-musical benefits such as using music lessons to occupy their children during non-examination periods, and also as a means of developing good temperament and self-discipline in children. Parents who were more involved in musical life tend to be more involved in their children’s music learning and tend to see high musical ability as the reason for providing musical training. Contrastingly, parents participating less in musical activities reported sending their children for music lessons because other parents are doing it and would be less involved in their children’s progress in music learning. Implications regarding the notion of well-rounded education, the effects of conceptions of ability and the advocacy work of music education are discussed.