Find Out How To Help Your Children To Make Fast Progress On Instrument Practice!
Very often we encounter confused parents who come to us for advice, as their kids enjoy music – they like music lessons, after school instrument classes and musicals, but not much practicing an instrument. To kids who are not interested in music at all, parents know very well what to do. But to this group of kids who are somewhat interested but not really, only left parents perplexed.
No worries, we have had many kids who started off sleeping during our instrument classes but ended up becoming passionate musicians. And we are going to tell you how we changed them.
Set non time-related goals
Parents tend to give their children daily goals like “practice piano for 30 minutes”. This kind of goals would actually distract children – all they care about is how much time is left. They put down the instrument as soon as time is up, and would not reflect on the practice. These goals are traps to the children, which are not motivating or helpful at all. There is basically no reason for them to fall in love with the practice time.
Try to set new goals like “play this piece without any halt at least once today”. These goals allow children to have a clear vision of what they have to achieve today and that motivates them to do what they should. When they achieve the goal, they would enjoy a sense of achievement and satisfaction, instead of merely have the thought that “I am done”.
After every lesson, our instructors would leave a practice assignment to your children. Not only our tutors, but any musical educators, would rarely set a weekly goal like “practice for an hour every other day”. Goals are usually very precise and achievable, for example “perform this piece without the score next lesson”, so that your children can have a clear destination and that motivates them to concentrate and improve.
Take a break from time to time
There is a reason why holiday was invented and stays. We all need a time-out from all the chaos in life – children are no exception. Their daily routine may seem casual to you now, but do you remember you also struggled when you were a kid? Having 8 hours of school for 5 days a week, followed by homework tutorial, sports team training and instrument class – this schedule is no less stressful than your office work. So when you complain about having to get them prepared and bring them to different classes during weekends and holidays, please also think about the pressure on them.
When you shoulder too many burdens, you slow down, and so do your kids. Please give them a break regularly. A real break. Bring them to a beach, to a hike and just have some family time at home!
Prioritize practice naturally
We hear students say that it is very hard for them to squeeze out of their tight schedule to practice the instrument. Parents might have unintentionally planted the idea that “music is minor” to them. For example, they always have long sessions of homework tutorials, language classes or athletic trainings, and instrument practices are only filling up the gaps. Try to balance everything out. And if you do have a certain aspect which you want your kids to excel on, and it is not music, at least not to arrange the instrument practice around the time of the other session. Schedule it on another day, so that your kids can have full attention on both, regardless of the time.
Create random memories related to practice
Talk to your children about the instrument practice in your daily conversation. Ask them how they feel and tell them what you think. If you have recorded some videos or audios, show them. You can simply joke about (in a non-offensive manner) how they look when they make mistakes or when they almost fall asleep. Help them create some good memories about their practices, so that when they reminisce about the time, it will be more than getting upset about not being able to play a piece well or feeling bored with practicing the same song for the whole month.