I am procrastinating my own practice by writing this blog post. I love practicing, but the transition from snuggling on the couch with my laptop and dog is no easy task. Motivating my son to practice not one but two instruments is not my favorite thing. But the actual practice — not so hard and actually pleasant. So here are my tips:
- Create an area in your home designated for practice. Here’s what you need to accommodate in the practice space:
- Music Stand
- Place to store case
- Wall hook or safe place to keep instrument out and safe
- Nearby spot to stack piles of music
- Comfortable chair for parent to sit in nearby with a table nearby with a jar of pencils, dice, ancient cd player or speaker and room for your practice / lesson notebook.
- Pick a time of day to practice. Get practice on the daily schedule. I like mornings before school. Some folks find it successful right after school or in the evenings.
- Multitask the listening. Figure out a way to play the pieces your child will be working on in the car, as their alarm in the morning, when dinner is cooked, etc.
- Young and elementary school students usually enjoy practice as long as it isn’t punishment. Many young students consider practice punishment if they have to do it alone.
- Middle school and older folks often practice to avoid social embarrassment and impress eachother. Make sure middle school and older students have opportunities to play with others and perform.
- Postpone screen time until after practice and homework.
- Have a snack before practicing. Hunger and productive practice is not a thing.
- Move around before practicing. Play outdoors or at least do a few jumping jacks before practicing.
- Do it every day.
- Don’t watch the clock.
- Plan the practice before starting. Make sure the checklist is a little on the slacker side. When your checklist is complete, move on to another activity unless both you and your child want to play more.
Off I go to grab a snack, do some jumping jacks and practice!