Your child was so excited to get their music instrument, you thought they would never put it down! However, a few months in and the instrument is sitting in a corner of the house. As a parent, it's important to get your child motivate to practice regularly.
Students who practice regularly, even if it’s just for a few minutes every day, retain lessons better and develop new skills quicker. They also often report enjoying music class more.
As parents, it’s hard to keep our kids motivated to practice, but remember it’s practice that makes perfect. West Music educators have put together this list of their seven best tips to help your child keep playing and keep having fun!
1. Break practice out into 5-10 minutes.
Finding the time to practice is difficult; there’s homework, chores, family time, sports and many other actives that make up the day. By breaking up longer practice sessions into short 5 to 10 minute sprints, you and your child will be more likely to find the time to get it done!
2. Set goals.
With each practice session have a specific goal in mind for your child, even if it’s just practicing one or two cords. Setting small goals will add up to huge accomplishments!
3. Keep your child’s instrument out (in a safe place).
Ever heard out of sight, out of mind? That’s exactly what happens when you pack up your child’s instrument in its case and put it into the closet. Instead keep it out somewhere out of the way but where your young musician will see it every day.
4. Let your child pick their practice time, and then stick with it.
One of the many skills music teaches children is self-discipline. Let them choose what time they want to practice, but once a time is chosen have them stick to it as best as possible. Even if they have to miss a practice session or two because of other commitments, it helps build the habit of practicing regularly.
5. Be excited for your child.
If you see practice time as dull, so will your kids. Be in the room when your child practices and encourage them when they feel like giving up. When they do finally master a song, or even just a new note, show genuine pride and excitement in their accomplishments.
6. Game-ify Practice.
Many music teachers suggest making a game out of difficult passages that could otherwise get frustrating. One of the most popular games involves pennies (but M&Ms or Skittles work just as well). Put 3 to 10 pennies on the left side of their music stand. Each time your kids get the passage right, they can move a penny to the right side. Once they get all the pennies to the other side, they can finish practicing and take their reward!
7. Play with the instrument.
You don’t always need to follow the song book. Encourage your child to make up their own song. It encourages creativity and makes learning more fun!
Need more advice? West Music is here for you!
Call our music experts at 1-800-397-9378