Hello Parents! This part of my website is going to be just for you giving you ideas for practice motivation and how best to support your child’s musical journey. There will be links to articles and music that you might find helpful and interesting.
As this brand new year begins it is a wonderful time to start afresh and have some carrots in your back pocket to motivate and encourage your child. One of the most helpful things I know in regards to practicing is to have a schedule. Sit down with your child and go over the week with them and decide and agree upon a regular practice time. Having the schedule set ahead of time will help you to avoid that daily nagging of asking if the student has practiced. It is also helpful to sometimes have little rewards built into a practice schedule. While we all would like to have music be its own motivator, I find that everyone needs a little extra more tangible reward at times. Try setting up some sort of reward system if a student achieves a complete week (for a young child) or month of practicing (for older student). The rewards could be things like a jamba juice treat/baskin robbins/ or a shared activity like a bike ride together, or going on a hike.
Also, don’t be surprised with the complaining that you will hear at times from your child about having to practice. This is normal and sometimes it helps to just agree with your child saying something like, “Yeah, I know it can be hard sometimes to fit everything in. But I’m really proud of how you are managing so well.” Sometimes just sympathizing with someone will help them feel like you understand. But if this kind of complaining becomes a daily comment I would suggest that you create a “no whining” environment in your home. Complaining can become a bad habit just like anything else and the negative words only bring the student down. If you have a real complainer, again try a rewards system for a week of no complaints about practicing.
Finally, here is a link to a website that has a video that I think you will find inspiring. You may even what your child to listen to it. Learning to play an instrument well is not something that happens quickly. It is a long process but as you will hear from the kids in this video it is well worth the effort it takes. Hang in there, parents! You are giving your child a wonderful opportunity and gift to be able to understand and experience the world of music.