4.29.2008

Practice Time for Young Musicians

No matter how excited a new music student is when they start studying music, getting in enough practice time can still be a struggle. The word “practice” can be a little off putting. For young beginners it can feel like such a burden, especially when it keeps them from doing other things that they also love to do. As a teacher I am constantly looking for ways to make practicing less of a chore and more interesting for the student. Parents play a very important role in making practice time a successful time. Here a few tips for doing just that.
  1. Make practicing a part of the daily routine.

    Involve your child in determining when is the best time to practice for your family. This helps the student to feel that they are an important part of the decision and not forced into practice. Some families find that early morning practice works well. Other families practice right after school, once they have rested and before doing homework. Use trial and error to figure out what will work best for you family.

  1. Keep practice time short.

    Young children usually don't have the patience and the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. So, I advise parents to keep practice times no longer than 15 minutes a day, to start out. As your child gets older and becomes more interested in learning his instrument, you can lengthen practice time. Always take your cue from your child and never force your child to practice.

  2. Show encouragement and praise

    Remember to encourage your child in their practice whenever you can. Take notice of the progress they are making and the improvements that you see. Sharing words of encouragement can mean the world to a budding musician.

  3. Never make practice time a punishment

    This is important advice. Making practice a punishment can make your child dread daily practice and can even force them to stop playing or singing altogether. Parents need to show support and enthusiasm for their child's music practice. You could try having a daily practice chart where progress can be charted with stickers after each session of practice. Have fun and be creative, music is meant to be an enjoyable activity.

  4. Create a welcoming and comfortable practice environment

    How comfortable is your practice space? Is the seat comfortable? How is the lighting? Make sure that your practice space is comfortable for your child to spend quality time there, free from distractions so they can concentrate and make practice time productive.

  5. Talk to your student's music teacher often

It is essential for parents to communicate with their child's music instructor. Ask about the areas your child needs to improve on so that you can focus practice time at home. Don't forget to first do warm-ups, then practice the pieces that were assigned for the week. End each practice time with pieces that your child already knows well and enjoys. Happy practicing!


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