But I don’t want to practice!
As a child is learning an instrument one of the most important things
they can do to ensure success is practice. It does not have to involve a lot of time, even 15 minutes 3 times a week will have an enormous
impact on their musical growth. Studies have show that it is better to practice 15 to 20 minutes 3 or 4 times a week then to engage in a marathon
practice session of 1 hour or more. Shorter more focused practice is the best way to retain what you are learning.
Parents are often frustrated by the words ” But I don’t want to practice” coming from there future little Mozarts in training! I have some ideas
that might encourage your child to practice their instrument on a regular basis.
Make the practice fun!
Make the practice fun by challenging the kids to perform what they are working on after their practice is done. They could put on a little performance
for the family to show how much they have improved. If you play an instrument, you may want to play along with the child or practice with them. If you
are not a wiz at music, have the kids teach you how to play what they are learning.
Make practicing a habit like brushing your teeth!
We all automatically do certaing things everyday. Whether it’s brushing your teeth, making the bed, or walking the dog, everyone gets into a
regular daily routine. Practicing should be considered part of the childs daily routine that he/she is expected to complete. After awhile kids
will hopefully start making their practice time part of their daily expectations.
Reward or encourage your child on a regular basis!
I doubt many adults would work their jobs if they did not receive some type of monetary reward for the tasks they do. In the same way I think
it is important to give your child praise when you hear improvement as they learn their instrument.Even if that improvement is small, any
kind of encouragement goes a long way in promoting the child to practice. You may want to consider a reward for reaching their practice goals.
The reward could be a trip to the local Dairy Queen or an extra hour of video time if they practice without being told 7 or 8. Younger children
should be rewarded on a more frequent basis and older children should be able to go for a longer period of time. Verbal praise and encouragement
should be happening everyday.
It’s important for children to see you working at developing a skill!
Children imitate and model what they see their parents doing. If you are working to learn and practice a new skill and grow in your learning, then they will want
to do the same. Children also come to value what their parents value. If music is important to you and you engage in either listening to music
attending concerts, playing instruments or singing with others, then they will more likely value those activities as well.
Learning an instrument can be challenging, but the lifetime rewards your child will receive as they continue their journey in music is invaluable
Look at the big picture and I know you will be glad that you did everything you could to ensure the success of your child in music.