You should be proud to give the wonderful gift of music to your child!
Please try the following suggestions for your child to gain the most while taking formal music lessons. The most successful students are not necessarily the most talented. They have practiced regularly and consistently. Your involvement in your child’s practice schedule will help them to develop their music skills to their highest potential!
♫ Help your child to establish the habit of a daily practice time. Discuss various options with your child and let them choose the time that they feel is best for them. Mark it on a calendar or a sheet of paper and hang it where it will be easily seen.
♫ Suggested amount of time varies per student. Younger children may do well to split the practice into two 10 minute sessions a day. Older children may do a 20-30 minute session daily. Advanced levels will require additional time.
♫ Please provide a well lit and private area for practicing. Make their instrument easily accessible. This should be a time for your child to work without interruptions and free from family conflicts. The scheduled practice time should take priority over another sibling’s television watching or other activity in the same room.
♫ Treat the practice time as any other important appointment (ex. a dentist visit). Try to reschedule the practice time for a different time in the day or to add a bit more time to the next day of practice when any special activities happen. This enables the student to have consistent and good progress.
♫ Students’ success is enhanced when practice is done after their lesson the same day. The instructions are the freshest in their mind and therefore the most easy to remember. Schedule a day to finish writing assignments well before the night before the next lesson.
♫ Teach your child to check off accomplishments in their dictation book as they practice and to track the number of minutes practiced each day. (However, minutes are not as important as accomplishment. It is just a way of monitoring the endeavor.) You may also wish to create a practice chart as a visual feedback of their progress.
♫ Encourage the use of various practice tools. The metronome and / or performing with the accompanying CD will develop timing and flow. For added fun, suggest playing softly, loudly, staccato or legato for additional repetition. Other suggestions could include: “Play as if you are a tiny animal, a large animal, angry, or sad…..”
♫ Encourage your child to take a short break for a snack or a brief exercise period when ever they seem to overtire. They will be ready to return to their practice refreshed and have an enhanced learning ability.
♫ Encourage your child to work on small sections at a time or starting at different spots in the song. Starting always at the beginning is playing, not practicing.
♫ Exposing your child to live performances or various styles of music recordings of music will greatly enhance their musical learning.
♫ Recommendations for practice are HERE!
♫ Buying a new instrument? Look HERE for some ideas.