Learning to play a musical instrument should be a fun and exciting time for your child. A good teacher will guide and motivate them but in order to make consistent progress, they will need to practice outside of their scheduled lessons. As a parent, you can help your child by encouraging them to practice. Here are some tips that will help.
1. Make a practice schedule. With everything kids have going on, it’s easy to skip practice. Come up with a weekly practice schedule and help them stick to it. Consistent practice of 4-5 days a week is better than 1 or 2 days of longer practice. A short focused 15-minute session will do wonders. Some very young kids may only be able to do 10 minutes, but if they’re consistent with that 10 minutes every day, their progress will soar!
2. Have your child review what they learned shortly after their lesson. When kids do this, their practice will be much more effective because everything they learned is fresh in their mind. It’s one of the best ways to ensure good quality practice. You can ask them to tell you what they learned today.
3. Encourage thoughtful practicing. Have your child look over their assignment; taking note of any of the teacher’s comments before starting their practice session. Kids that do this are more likely to practice correctly.
4. Review old favorites! After your children have practiced their assignment, encourage them go back and play something they already know. This could be a song or a previous lesson that they know. Not only will this strengthen their skills, it’s fun!
5. Set a good example! Let your kids see YOU practicing something or learning a new hobby. The point is for them to realize that learning anything involves work.
6. Promote performing! Encourage your kids to play in front of people. This doesn’t have to be a big deal. They could play something when a neighbor stops by or even a phone call to grandma during practice would work.
7. Be a cheerleader! Let your kids know how well they’re doing. Find something to compliment! Be specific and sincere. You could say you’re amazed at how quickly they learn when they practice.