Encouraging your child to practice...
You've found a wonderful teacher, you've purchased or rented an instrument, and set up a practice space for you child - but for some reason, they just don't want to practice?
Firstly, you're not alone in this, so we've put together a list of 8 nifty tips to help you encourage your son or daughter to practice the instrument they were initially so keen to start learning!
1) Allow your child to choose their instrument - if your son or daughter gets to play the instrument they have picked out themselves, they are far more likely to practice!
2) Expose your child to as much music as possible - reward your child with trips to concerts, or downloads of new songs. If they see what hard work can do, they'll be inspired to put more effort into their own practice!
3) Plan mini concerts - not only will this give your child something to work towards, but by playing regularly in front of others, your child will build up their confidence in performing. It will also give them a fantastic sense of achievement when they can see others enjoying their performances!
4) Be your child's number one fan - by taking an active interest in your child's musical journey, they will be excited to play for you, and make fantastic progress as a result. Attending as many of their concerts as you can, and asking about their lessons will emphasise the importance of the skills they are developing!
5) Setting goals - your child will progress so much quicker if they work on accomplishing specific tasks or mastering particular skills. Also consider breaking down their practice sessions into smaller, more manageable chunks throughout the day if they find it difficult to concentrate for longer periods of time.
6) Celebrate all achievements - words of affirmation are incredibly important, but there are so many other ways that you can congratulate your child on their musical progress. If they've passed an exam recently, why not frame the certificate, pop positive comments from their teacher on the fridge, or buy them a little bunch of flowers if they've played in a concert?
7) Encourage playing with others - if there are any local orchestras, bands or choirs, encourage you child to join them. Not only will they make fantastic friends, but they'll improve their playing without realising, be exposed to new music, and learn new skills from their peers too!
8) Choosing their own music - Let them make suggestions of pieces they'd like to play, alongside the music they have been set by their teacher. There are lots of websites that have free simple sheet music of all different styles - from pop music, to musicals, to film soundtracks!