No matter how excited your child starts out, sometimes getting him or her to practice can feel like an intricate balancing act. You want them to understand that hard work pays off, whilst keeping it fun. Here are 5 tips for making practice sessions efficient and enjoyable:
1. Quality over quantity. The quality and consistency of practice time spent is much more important than the quantity. A concentrated period of twenty to thirty minutes of slow practice going over difficult spots, is much more beneficial than playing through over and over often with errors!
2. Establish a practice routine. Figure out what time of day works best for your child, and block it out on the calendar. When practicing becomes a routine, much like brushing your teeth or sitting down to family dinner, it’s more likely to get done. Daily practise of thirty minutes for grade level up to 3 is advised.
3. Figure out what excites the child. There will always be scales and etudes to practice, but it’s important that your child is also working on pieces that inspire and motivate. Some children are too shy to speak up, so check in with them every now and then, and ask if they like the material the teacher selects. You can also encourage them to listen to music they enjoy and expose them to versatile range of music by taking them to a concert or performance.
4. Help your child set goals, and celebrate when they reach those goals. Reaching milestones can be a great motivator! Consider offering a reward that will inspire them, whether that’s a fun music book or a local concert.
5. Stay positive. Remind your child that every musician experiences frustration at some point, and success takes patience and hard work. With time, they will realise that the practice they commit to makes a direct impact on their progress and performance—and that’s definitely a lesson worth learning.