7.29.2010

Part III: 5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Music Lessons: Making Practice Easier & Have Fun!

Welcome to part III of my first, three part series called the “Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Music Lessons”. If you are just joining us don't miss out on Part I & Part II. Enjoy!

4. MAKING PRACTICE EASIER

As with anything, having a level of mastery in your musical instrument takes time and practice. One of the main concerns from students and their families is that practicing can become repetitive and unexciting. A struggle between parents and students to practice can also be a problem if care is not taken to give their music study structure and comfortable focus. Here are some ways to make practicing more successful and rewarding:
  • TIME: Set the same approximate time every day to practice so it becomes part of your household's daily routine. This is essential especially for young children. Generally the earlier in the day the practicing can occur, the less reminding is required by parents to get the student to practice. Also, feel free to break up the practice period into two, 10 to 15-minute segments (morning and evening for example) so the student doesn't feel overwhelmed by the task.
  • REPETITION: Try this method when setting practice schedules for beginners: For some students 20-30 minutes focused on music studio can seem like an eternity. Instead of setting a time frame, try using repetition. For example, "Practice this song 4 times every day, and your scale warm-up 2 times a day." The focus for the student then changes from the amount of time they are practicing, to the total repetitions they have finished for that day.
  • REWARDS: This works very well for all ages of music students. Parents can encourage children to practice by granting them occasional rewards for successful practicing. Some students choose to earn stickers and stars. Adults students can choose to reward themselves with a special treat after a successful week of practicing. Also, annual reward programs where students earn ribbons, certificates, medals and trophies can be a great incentive and gives them something to work towards and look forward to. Don't forget to praise your child though. Praise tends to be the most coveted award-there is just no substitute for a pat on the back for a job well done!
When looking for a music instructor do ask them about their practice-building programs. Learning voice or piano takes the dedication of more than just the student. It takes a commitment from the parents of the student and for adults, encouragement from the important people in their life.

5. MOST IMPORTANTLY - HAVE FUN!

So, what's more fun than playing music! Being able to share in music making should be something that you enjoy for a lifetime. So, try not to put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your children to learn too quickly. Everyone learns at their own pace and the key is to be able to enjoy the journey!

It takes patience whenever we work at learning a new skill and there will be ups and downs along the way. The most important thing is to be willing to persevere and work through the tough times. Enjoy the musical experience!


What ever you decide, music study should be something that you want you or your child to enjoy for a lifetime.  So, let it begin with your group or private lessons here at the Elliott Music Studio!

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