Ideas for Young Students that Encourage Daily Music Practice
A comprehensive music education that includes instrumental lessons such as piano or violin provides children excellent intellectual, cultural, and physical opportunities. However, maintaining their interest and motivation throughout the years can be a challenge for parents and teachers.
Establishing music as an essential part of family tradition, good communication between teachers, parents, and students, and exposure to performances are approaches that encourage young students to pursue practice time with more enthusiasm.
INSTILL CLASSICAL MUSIC APPRECIATION AND CONTINUE FAMILY TRADITIONS
Each family likely has musical traditions and cultural heritage to pass on to each new generation. Parents who did not experience classical music growing up can consider changing that with their own children. Families can take advantage of terrific online and community resources that explore numerous cultures and their influences on classical music. An appreciation for this genre helps foster a desire to pursue it in lessons and invigorate student practice.
Parents who grew up taking private music lessons and participating in recitals and ensembles know from their own experiences the benefits that creating music brought to their lives. If you’re a parent who had a musical childhood and continues to play an instrument, know that your example inspires and reassures your children in their lesson journey.
UTILIZE TEACHER GOALS THAT PROVIDE CLARITY FOR STUDENTS
A vital aspect to encouraging at-home practice for children is faithfully implementing the teacher’s goals and directions during their practice time. Parents and lesson teachers need to communicate fully about each lesson. One of our most important goals at K & M Music is to dedicate lesson time to providing detailed approaches to learning. By breaking down all aspects of the music, students can better grasp the concepts of what to do and how to do it. Teachers carefully work through notes, rhythms, and interpretative details in lessons. They demonstrate proper techniques for specific measures and phrases that help students master the physical playing aspects of their instrument. Students repeat these passages for the teacher numerous times to test their understanding and ensure they listen to themselves. As teachers set goals appropriate for each student’s age and level, parents should take advantage of the opportunity to follow through at home, reminding their children of what they should specifically concentrate on during practice sessions.
AT-HOME STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVED DAILY PRACTICE
Without parent support to provide consistent practice routines at home, even talented and motivated students can begin to languish in their progress. Young children rely on a parent to take the initiative to set aside a dedicated time in their day that ensures a productive practice session. The quality and outcomes of their practice are more important than just filling up time with trivial playing of their instrument. One strategy that can facilitate better results is breaking it into two smaller sessions, making sure your child feels refreshed and mentally prepared. Multiple, shorter practice sessions encourage better focus and help foster a sense of urgency to complete specific goals. After a break, they will be more likely to see their progress and feel motivated to tackle the next step. Parents need to praise and acknowledge students when they accomplish small victories each day. Genuine compliments to your child on completing a measure or even just pushing through resistance to learn something new encourages them to continue their practice. Another great strategy is for families to implement an at-home “performance time” once a week. Performing assigned music gives parents and students a great way to evaluate and recognize the week’s accomplishments and ensures they are ready for their next lesson.
PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCES AND LIVE EVENTS INSPIRE YOUNG MINDS
Video recordings of online piano recitals, youth soloists performing with orchestras, or masterclasses of violin students working with renowned artists can be a terrific inspiration. As students explore new repertoire, they often find video performances of the same pieces they study. Hearing a beautiful, refined version of a musical selection helps propel students to continued practice and mastery. Parents can also use these occasions to talk with children about working towards personal music goals, striving for excellence, or expressing appreciation for the skill it takes to play an instrument at such an accomplished level.
Students should also consider attending live music events and performances whenever possible. These events offer a tangible experience that stimulates young minds. The San Diego area provides numerous family-friendly music concerts and children’s music programs. Summer orchestra, band, or piano camps are favorite activities for many middle and high school students, encouraging them to continue their practice. Parents can inquire with K and M Music teachers for their top recommendations regarding excellent live music events for young children.
Motivation for consistent daily practice for young music students can flourish through multiple avenues of encouragement. Students find incentives for pursuing their instrumental studies through family traditions and support, excellent communication between teachers and parents that reinforces goals, and inspiration through professional performances.
K & M Music is pleased to offer outstanding options for private piano, violin, and cello lessons rooted in the philosophies of the Russian School of Music. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about our teaching mission and to contact us for details about enrolling your student to begin their musical journey.