Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Getting Children to Practice Music

WFMW: Tips For Getting Your Children to Practice Music



Mom: Have you practiced yet?
Child: Mom! I don't want to!
Mom: Do you realize how much money I am spending on your private lessons, and you don't have enough courtesy to…

And we all know how this story plays out. Mom gets mad at child, child gets mad at mom, private teacher gets mad at mom and child, and no one is having any more fun! I have heard so many moms' complain about trying to get their children to practice. With all the money that is spent on a private teacher, I can see why mom gets frustrated when her child doesn't practice. Here are some ideas that work when it comes to getting your child to practice:

1. Sit down with your child and make a weekly schedule. In the schedule set some time aside for daily practice. Post this schedule by your child's bed or in a place your child will see the schedule everyday. When your child sees this schedule that he or she helped make, the child may be then more willing to abide by it.

2. Make a clean and inviting space in your home for your child to practice. I remember growing up we had our piano in a room that we walked through a lot. The room was open with lots of windows and light. The piano was also easy to access, so I could plop right down and play. Because of the inviting environment the piano was in, I wanted to sit down and play. This was a space that I loved going to.

Make sure this space is free from distractions. The TV should be off, and brothers and sisters should try to be quite while practicing is going on so your child can concentrate.

3. Have your child fill out a practice log. Have your child's music teacher write down his or her weekly assignments in the log, and then have your child fill out what he or she practices in detail every day.
Make sure your child writes down how long he or she practiced, and questions they may have for the music teacher for the next lesson. This is a good way to keep track of your child’s progress.

4. Have your child tape record his or her self playing and then listen to the recording. This is an excellent way for your child to listen to what he or she needs to work on, and it could be something fun and different for your child to try.

5. Support your child by going to his or her performances and recitals. There is no better way to get your child to want to keep learning if he or she knows how important music it is to you, also.

6. Keep your child's instrument in good shape. If the instrument needs tuning then get it tuned. If something needs to be repaired, then have it repaired. It is hard to want to practice on an instrument that isn't working right.

7. Have rewards for daily practice. For example, your child can watch his or her favorite show if he or she practices for 30 minutes first, or your child can have a friend over if he or she practices everyday this week.

8. If rewards don't work, try asking your child why he or she does not want to practice. Is it because your child's music piece is too hard? Does your child not like the music he or she is playing? Is the set practice time not a time your child wants to practice during? Or, does your child not like playing the instrument he or she is playing? Once you find out what the reason is, then you can help your child solve the problem. Asking your child’s music teacher to get your child some music that will teach your child what he or she is suppose to be learning and music they will like to play. Or if your child doesn't like his or her teacher, then you can find your child a new one. This is a time to really listen to your child and get to the real reason to why he or she does not want to practice. You could be surprised at how easy the problem might be to fix.

For more information on how to get your child to practice visit: http://www.kenfoster.com/Articles/Practicing.htm


I am participating in Works For Me Wednesday.






Wordless Wednesday:


What instrument am I?

Answer to last week's Wordless Wednesday:




I am a contrabass clarinet. I am one of the largest members of the clarinet family.

I am participating in Wordless Wednesday.

I am participating in Wordful Wednesday.

19 comments:

Marie N. said...

My children's piano practice is built into their summer chore schedule. Each day they need to make their beds, brush teeth, practice piano, and lay out their clothes for the next day. Other chores are added according to their ability. Making piano part of their daily routines has eliminated all the angst. Most days they are done with practice before lunch.

As we home school, we also built practice time into the school-year schedules.

Hootin' Anni said...

xylophone?

Mine's posted. Drop by, won't you? Have a great day.

Candy said...

good tips! my Caleb is taking guitar lessons, and now he doesn't want to practice....hmm...

Mandy said...

I love all your tips!

Breanne Vasquez said...

Good tips - my daughters friend got a mini piano for her bday and they totally fought over it. I think I might have t get my daughter one. They loved to play on it.

Patsy said...

As *hootin' anni* said it's a xylophone. Loved looking around on your site. You have some great info. And I haven't thought about "On top of speghetti in a long time" I'll probaly sing it the rest of the day. Do I say thank you or dang you. :) Great post.

Lynn said...

I am guessing it is a marimba!

Sherry said...

Great ideas! WE also have the piano practice in our daily chore schedule. :D

Mark Salinas said...

Vibraphone? Awesome tips!

Kaci said...

Great info!! Thanks for the tips! And dang I was close on the last wordless Wednesday!! DARN!! :) And I have no clue what the name of the WW is...but I know I played it in music class in grade school! Memory not so good...pickles!

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

I DON't remember what that instrument is - but I do remember playing that in grade school in music class!!

mormonhermitmom said...

That looks like a marimba to me. Played one for a while in 8th grade band.

angie said...

This is so beatifully WORDFUL. The list is exceptional.....I've learned so much from your blog! Thank you for participating today, too! I LOVE this post.

Mrs. Dawne Shelton said...

Thank you for the kind comment regarding my school room! :-)

High-Heels And A Sippy-Cup said...

Great post, Andrea! Fabulous ideas and it was fun to read.

Can't wait to see what's next, lady!

The Happy Housewife said...

Great tips on getting your kids to practice. Since we are starting piano soon I will be using them!
Toni

Emily ~ Little Window Shoppe said...

These are great tips! I loved practicing some instruments more than others...I remember having a piano teacher who was such a great influence on me. She was very motivating and I remember feeling excited about practicing when I was working with her.

Denise said...

My daughter has had TWO piano lessons in her life, and when she has to actually THINK and WORK, she has decided she doesn't want to. I guess I'm going to learn piano, so I can do it with her! :o)

Genny said...

These are SUCH great tips. Your blog is such a fantastic resource. Thank you!