Encouraging Your Child to Practice
There are many different ways to keep your child enthusiastic about music practice. Is important to remember however that every child is different and it may take a little bit of trial and error to figure out which method(s) work best. Here are our top five ways in which you can keep your kids keen!
- 1. Reward them! – Practicing can be a laborious task for kids so a little reward here and there will not go astray. Try making a practice sticker chart (this can be something you can do together) and each time they finish a practice put a sticker on the chart. After they have done 10 practices give them a small gift to say well done and keep it up! 10 is a good number to start off with because if you make the goal too unachievable they quickly loose interest in the chart. Take a look at our music stickers and music giftware for some inspiration.
- 2. Find some popular music for them to play – After practicing hard during exam periods your child may become bored of their current music repertoire. If this is the case, why not give them something fun to play? There are many popular pieces of music to choose from (such as Harry Potter and Taylor Swift) in our 'albums' sheet music section and most of the books come with a backing track CD. These books encourage kids to practice their sight-reading, practice playing with an accompaniment, and it also gives them something cool to perform for their classmates. Your kids will be begging to practice rather than saying ‘do I have to?’
- 3. Get involved! – If you are a parent of a Suzuki student, you know what this one is all about. Being a part of your child’s musical education can make a vast difference in their learning and understanding of music. It is important for parents to sit in on a lesson every now and again so that you know what is going on. Some parents will even rent a violin for themselves so they can join in on the lesson. If your child is struggling with a piece of music, or a scale or perhaps some aural tests, you will be able to help and guide them in the right direction. To gain a better understanding of parental involvement, we recommend a book called ‘Nurtured by Love’ written by Dr. Suzuki.
- 4. Have them join a group – Practicing on your own can be at times lonely and a little boring for kids. Getting your child involved in an instrumental group can be a good way for them to improve whilst also enjoying some social interaction with like-minded kids. If your child finds him or her self challenged in this group it will encourage them to keep up with the others and improve their own personal musical ability. Joining a group also gives kids a better understanding of music theory and how harmonies work. You can often find these groups at your local church, school or through your teacher.
- 5. Break practices up with some music theory – There are many different music theory books(and flash cards) designed for children that can help your child better understand the music they are playing. Breaking up a 30 or 45 minute practice with 15 minutes of music theory can be the best way to refresh their concentration. A lot of kids love music theory and some of the books contain fun and interactive exercises that are age appropriate. For more guidance on which theory book(s) to choose for your child please contact us.