There are a million and one good intentions in starting any worthwhile project. Here are some tips for getting your child’s piano practice off to a great start!
Start with very manageable and frequent practice rather than one big practice the first day and none the rest of the week.
The best time of day
Decide on a time that will work efficiently to do the practice, and then stick to that time each day so a routine is established.
The best amount of time
Decide on a length of practice time that suits the level of playing for your child, and then cut it back 5 mins so they always finish while still having fun. This needs be a time agreed by you, the tutor and the pupil. It may not be an actual time length, it may for example be enough time to cover a certain number of tasks on a checklist.
The best place
Make sure the instrument is available and easily accessible for practice for that ease of transition from whatever activity to music practice.
Show off moments
Please remember to enthusiastically ask for a performance of new things learned the day of the lesson. If you were at the lesson have the young performer show off to another member of the family. Lots of ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s are the best way to set them off to do more practice.
When they have done the required practice, encourage them to make things up at their instrument using some of what may have been done in the lesson, or simply their own fiddling. There is so much to be gained by this over time. I love to hear what has been created alongside the learning being covered.
We all work for rewards – as adults it is usually in a monetary form. I know some parents give really good rewards for practice done in the early days of setting routines. Progress made shows the child that they really enjoy the satisfaction that comes from the repeated practice. This becomes the reward as they settle in to it being a part of their daily life.
Finally, if you have some ideas that have worked for your family to encourage practice – let me know so we can pass them around.