7 Tips To Get Your Child Practicing

 by Terri Paglusch

Students practicing

 

When children get the idea of learning to play an instrument, they imagine an almost magical process that leads to them easily playing just like the pros they see in videos. But learning to play a musical instrument takes regular practice. It's important to get in the habit of practicing at least several times a week, to learn new skills and progress toward goals. Even though a child might promise to practice "every day" when they are begging for music lessons, when it's time to practice, some children resist. Sometimes, parents think "I knew this would happen," because they remember being pushed to practice, and maybe even being punished if they didn't. 

How can you make practice less of a chore? Here are 7 tips to get your child to practice without the struggle.

Stategies For Practice Without The Hassles:

1. Make it social.

One reason some children resist practicing is because they don't want to be separated from family activities. It make them feel left out. Try making a practice space near the activities of other family members, or move those activities to the practice space if necessary.  

2. Have a plan.

Set goals for the practice session. Discuss what they will do first, next, and last. This will give some structure to the practice, help them understand what to do and why. 

3. Record your child playing.

One thing that will encourage more practicing, is seeing the progress they have made. Record them playing a song when they first learn it, then record it later when they can play it well. Let your child see their progress week-to-week, or over a longer span of time.
 

Record them playing a song when they first learn it, then record it later when they can play it well. Let your child see their progress week-to-week, or over a longer span of time.

 

4. Engage with you child musically.

Let your child teach you something they have learned. If you can play even a little bit, join in and play a duet with them. You could even be the rhythm section--just clap the beat, or find something to use as a drum. The important thing is to share the experience.

5. Always end the practice session with something fun.

There's science behind this. It's called the "Peak-End Rule." According to Psychology Today,  "The peak-end rule states that the way an experience ends determines the happiness we ascribe to it." So do something fun at the end of the practice session. This could be playing a favorite song, free playing, or whatever your child enjoys the most. 

6. Listen to a lot of music.

By listening to music with your child, you'll help foster a love of music. Explore different genres of music, and let them decide what they like best. 

7. Stay Positive.

This might be the most important tip. Encouragement and praise for effort and progress will make it an enjoyable experience for both of you. Don't nag or push your child to practice, and don't punish or withhold treats or playtime for not practicing. That only leads to them thinking about practicing in a negative way, and creates a power struggle. 

 

By using these tips, you can turn your child's practice session into a positive experience for both of you. It will allow learning to play an instrument to become the magical experince they were imagining when they begged you for the lessons. 

 


 

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Written by
Terri Paglusch

Terri paglusch

Terri comes to Music House with extensive experience in business management. At Music House she spends her time working to make the client experience the best it can be.