I came across an excellent article written by pianist & teacher Jennifer Thomas regarding that essential element in musical progression: practice. Here is an excerpt:
I recently asked a group of parents what was the one thing they needed help with regarding their children’s music lessons, as well as something that the teacher could be working on as well. The answer: Motivating children to practice.
I’ve had this discussion with my own students’ parents many times. Some parents really push their kids, and some have little to no involvement at all. What are they doing wrong? What are they doing right? These are things they ask me.
I personally do not think that there is one right answer because every person is unique. For example, I was a very self-motivated child and never had to be told to practice. I just did it, and excelled at it. However, I know that some of my students don’t progress with this type of method in the home and practicing does not happen.
It can be true of the reverse as well though. Some children may need to be reminded or pushed to practice, and therefore they excel with that type of motivation. Whereas other children, when pushed too hard, back away or rebel.
Here are some things that I have found to help me with my students, as well as advice that I would offer to parents.
What can the parent do to help the child?
- Know your child and what type of motivation will work for them.
- Help the child see the value in music.
- Set up a reward system.
You can read the full article here.