Updated: Jun 16, 2021
Let's just say it... practice isn't always fun and neither is parenting.
I don't want you or your child to dread practice time! So here are just a few easy ways you can encourage good practice habits at home.
Turn students into teachers. Your child is learning a lot and the best way to help them retain that information is to ask them to be the teacher. Ask them to explain their new song to you. Ask them to explain their theory assignment to you. Simple questions like "How did you know that?" can open a door to conversation and demonstrations.
Praise their accomplishments- even the small ones. Learning an instrument doesn't happen in a day or a week or even a year. But with your help, kids can celebrate milestones along the way. "Wow, that sounds better than yesterday!" and "I can't wait to hear you tomorrow!" are the kind of comments that motivate a child to get back to work a little each day.
Make it a game. Set a timer and see how many correct repetitions of a tricky measure your child can play in under 3 minutes. Note their score on a sticky note and try to beat it next time!
Schedule a mini-performance. Make an appointment to FaceTime a relative or friend who lives far away to play a song for them! Schedule the "performance" a few days out to encourage daily practice.
Keep it short. Practice sessions that are frequent and brief are usually more productive than one long session the day before a lesson. If your child gets particularly upset by practicing one day don't be afraid to stop for the day. Try again after dinner or when they are rested. You don't have to power through a practice situation that has become stressful. Put it aside. The music will always be there when you come back.