As a follow-up to the first “Ask A Mom” feature, here are some additional suggestions that have proved helpful to parents:
Home practice: how can you help?
Some parents have played musical instruments, but for those who haven’t, it can be difficult to know how to assist their son/daughter with practicing. This is understandable. All parents can assist with home practice by regularly doing any or all of the following:
• Help The Practice Environment – Make sure practicing is done in a comfortable place without regular disturbances or interruptions. This may mean that you first need to find something for baby brother or sister to do - sometimes they can be a distraction! Whatever you do, please don’t send the student outside or away to practice. Music practice should never be a “punishment”. Do what you can to not make practicing negative.
• Consistent Times – Try to help your child set a regular practice time, preferably a time when you are home to hear them. If they get in the habit of practicing at the same time every day, this will aid in establishing a practice routine. Soon enough, this routine will be built into their weekly schedule.
• Encourage Performances – Set up a time, perhaps once a week, for your child to perform music for you, or for your family and friends. Encourage them to show off the things they are learning in their private lessons. This will give them performance goals outside of class and help them know develop the “nerves” required to play for an audience.
• Ask Questions – Have your child explain what his or her plan is for their practice session. Ask them about upcoming playing tests or class requirements.
• Sit in on a Practice Session – Occasionally sit with the student during their practice session. Ask them to explain the processes that they go through for each part of their assignments. Your willingness to accompany them during these times will show that you are committed to nurturing their progress and that they are not alone in learning to play a musical instrument. If it’s important to you, it will be important to them!
Do all that you can to make
practicing a positive experience!!!
The amount, but more especially, the quality
of daily home practice directly impacts
the progress of a student on their instrument.