How To Create Great Practicing Habits!
Many parents wonder how they can get their kids to practice more. As the Director of the school, and a father of two myself, I get asked this question a lot. I have an answer, but it may be a little different than you expect.
1. Inspire, don’t require – Have you ever noticed that when you really, really want to do something, no one twists your arm to get it done? Both of my kids LOVE to read. They plow through books so fast that it makes my head spin. Am I requiring them to read? No, they really want to. Now, I am intentional about pointing out books and my wife and I both model a love of reading. But we are certainly not forcing them to read books that they don’t want to. Instead, we often bring them to the library. We point out favorite books and suggest titles that look interesting. It’s the same with music. You can listen to Pandora, the radio, attend concerts, and explore YouTube together. Point out the music you enjoy and ask your kids what they like. Work on inspiring them and the practice WILL come!
2. Help them set up a plan – My son is a natural planner. He enjoys using checklists and using a planner. My daughter has had to be taught. We are always working on establishing “daily routines” and using chore charts to make lists of what needs to get done each day. As you start a new school year, help your student establish a plan. Do you start school later in the morning? Could practicing happen in the morning? How about right after school? As a student myself, music helped me decompress and process what had happened throughout my day. I always played piano before I did any homework and it helped me re-center and focus. How about just before bed? Helping your students set up a plan and a routine for practice will pay off!
3. Play music you love! – If your student seems to love lessons, but is disinterested in practicing at home, perhaps he/she needs new music! Be sure to stop in to lessons and discuss this with your teacher before or after the lesson! The teacher WANTS to partner with you and know what is going on at home! You can also email the front desk and we’ll get the message to your teacher (no direct texting , calling or emailing teachers is allowed at our school). Surprisingly, if the music is too easy, the student won’t want to practice, either. Be sure to sign up for the next recital. Having a goal to work towards always inspires the student to work hard! Just as if you were preparing for a 5K, the motivation to be ready for the big day is huge!
We want your student to love learning music! By making just a few tweaks (inspiring the student, setting up routines, and playing the right music), your lesson experience can be even better this year! We’re here to help, so let us know what you need. We are passionate about music education!