When it comes to practicing musical instruments, arguments between parents and their children are a time-honored tradition. In fact, the art of getting a little one to practice without tears of frustration can be a challenge.
Prevent practice time from becoming a source of frustration for you and your child. Learn to keep practices short, allow your child to make his or her own choices, involve the right people, and follow these tips.
Let Your Child Pick the Instrument
You may have always dreamed that your child would play a certain type of instrument, but it's important to put the desires of your child first. Allow your child to pick the instrument he or she plays. If they choose their own instrument, they will be more motivated to practice.
If you're worried that your child will pick an instrument that is too expensive, you can solve that problem by giving your child a few choices in a price range you can afford.
Give Your Child Freedom to Play When They Want
Leave your child's instrument out to play so they can have access to it when they want to play. Your child might surprise you by practicing to fill the time between activities. If your child does choose to play for fun, complement your child on his or her playing. Praise your child later for choosing to practice when he or she could have been doing other things.
Take an Active Role
Young children often need help from a parent or another adult to help them focus on structured activities like musical instrument practice. Sit with your child to help him or her practice and keep the activity engaging and can lengthen the amount of time that your child spends playing the instrument. As your child grows older, you can make your child responsible for practicing without you.
Stress Quality Over Quantity
Young children simply don't have the attention span to spend long hours practicing a musical instrument. Focus on short, effective lessons that last ten or fifteen minutes at a stretch. Often, your child will be freshest at the beginning of a practice and will produce his or her best work when starting off.
Focus on getting your child to produce his or her best work, then stop the lesson when your child's focus begins to wear off. Don't force your child to continue working past the time when your child's attention has waned because this will only make your child dislike practice.
Leave Practice Time Up to Your Child
Let your child pick when practice time will be. If your child chooses not to practice, tell your child that there will be no television or playing with a favorite toy until practice happens. Then, let your child decide when to practice. This will help encourage your child to get through practice without extra hand-holding from you.
Pick the Right Time of Day
Young children often behave better at certain times of the day than at others. Right before bedtime or before a meal is not usually the best time for a young child to practice an instrument. When at all possible, encourage your child to practice when they are fresh, well-rested, and not hungry.
Find the Right Teacher
A good teacher can be just as motivating as a love for music. Have your child work with a teacher who is experienced with young children and who knows how to motivate children. Often good instructors can be found through instrument stores, so talk to a clerk at your local instrument store to find out which instructors they would recommend for your child.
Contact Us With Questions
If you have more questions about how you can encourage your child to play an instrument, contact Musicians’ Repair & Sales. We're happy to answer your questions!