Is your student or child giving you lots of push back when asked to practice? Where you beg and plead for just a few minutes on the bench or in front of the music stand? Well no worries! I have a few tricks up my sleeve that have solved some practicing resistance and ignite the fun back into playing music!
1. Make it a game
Sitting for long periods of time with lots of repetition does not sound exactly appealing to anyone. Does it?
Well, I’ve discovered if you split whatever piece of music your child/student is learning into 6 sections and add a dice to roll six times and you practice JUST that section then roll again!
The idea is it breaks the monotony of practicing over and over. As well as solves the always playing from the beginning problem! Plus who doesn’t love a game of chance?
Alright, you can’t tell me you don’t love stickers too!
I think a lot of people fall into the pit of thinking of practicing as a timed thing. It’s easier to feel a lot more accomplished if you can play the piece or exercise twice and earn a sticker in your practice notebook. Hooray!
I have found this to be very successful with my students both in lessons and in practice habits.
3. Dad/mom Daughter Lesson
I find that most kids are facisnated when they can do something their parents “can’t”.
Take just 5-10 minutes and have your student/child teach YOU for a turn! It’s fun for both parties!
The student gets to realize how MUCH they DO know and it’s fun for the parent to also see how much their student has learned!
~BONUS – Bonding time! (cue the aww)
4. The Competition
Kids love games and competition. If you have two students you can set up a practice challenge for prize at the end. You can decide how big of a prize! You can also set this up with student’s friends or neighbors.
A little healthy competition is great to inspire others!
5. The Gauntlet
This is one of my favorites in my studio. It’s the ultimate fire streak. How many consecutive days can your student(s) practice?
I start everyone on the same day so that it is fair, the competition ends at the next recital.
The winner gets a certificate and recognition at the recital as well as a feature. I love this because it inspires my students and also gives them that feeling of accomplishing something momnumental and the commitment it takes to reach it.
You can do this on a smaller scale with your own student/child and still give him/her the gratifying feeling of accomplishment.
Most importantly, it’s important to remember why we all love music. Because it’s awesome! Don’t forget how much fun it is to just sit down and play! Don’t worry if theres a week (or a few) if your student/child isn’t as committed. They’ll find what inspired them again. As always, passion inspires passion!
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