How to make practice time handy for you and your child
Updated: Aug 22
Most parents wishes to make their kids practice a little bit more... math, science or music just a little more can satisfy everyone because the more you put time and effort the better you get at it. There is really no fast way of doing or avoiding the hard work and the hardest of all is to sit down and focus on one thing only. It's a true meditation and takes mastery to be able sit with yourself and make things work.
The more you do it, the better you get.
Realistically speaking It's quiet difficult concept to adopt in everyday life remembering that there is skill you need to work and consciously too, otherwise there will be little to no improvements, the car wont move itself unless you ignite and spark. But what really motivates kids to run toward the instrument, take it and start playing. And not just playing random sound but actually form and shape of the sound as well as idea coming from it their little hands and smart head.
It's not that simple for kids to understand what music suppose to come out from their instrument, nor adults who never had music lessons can grasp easily unless you know what you looking for and how to make it happen. This is why music teacher come along and helps you solves the puzzle, not right away but slowly. Music teacher has ability put stars on dark sky and make their student to reach for that star. It becomes focus and challenge how far you can stretch yourself in order to reach out and in the process they discover so much more about their character, likes and dislikes.
Music Teacher will give you map and direction how to get from one stop to another so it's important to find someone you can trust and feel the flow.
Without proper instruction anyone can guess how to produce the sound out of the instrument but it will take very long time, there is much easier way to do it and the road has been carved for it for the past 300 years by many great musicians and composers who dedicated their life and very core of existence. It's truly like learning how to walk for the first time, it doesn't happen fast but requires balance, attention and sense of direction all intuitively and physically. Once you gain the balance and strength of the both hands, the next step is how to implement ideas and expressions. If you don't have technique of both hands regulating the speed, pressure, lift, flow, transitions, changes, stops, rhythm in your fingers and in your head, musical ideas will come out only 50% of your true expression. So the more you have technique of the instruments, the more likely you can express in the way that will touch many souls and make you grow.
The final step for graduating your music teacher would be desire to be fully independent, polishing and make it as elegant and beautiful as you are in each and every way! It usually happens in mid 20s as the human mind matures and experience life itself more it helps to shape music in much more details and fancy ornaments like vibrato, thrills, passages, speed, precisions, sharpness, smoothness and elegance.
Now you understand concepts and core of the learning curve, it's up to you to translate this given information to your child into a language that they can understand and most of all "feel" the level of your appreciation toward work you and your child put into together as a team. Kids are walking sponges and they absorb 80-95% of energy around them just by being a kid, so knowing how much it takes effort to make it happen plus appreciate will help you to understand why there are times one doesn't want to practice and other times it can't wait to play that tune.
The outcome of this lessons will create amazing new path of how develop self discipline, new learning system, adapt to challenges and most of all rise above with courage to perform in front of everyone.
Here is a few tips how you can influent your child to practice
without being too obvious or pressured
1. Ask for the name of the current songs your child is learning and what is this song about?
If the child doesn't know, brainstorm it based on sounds or rhythm. Use Imagination.
2. Ask your child if he/she comfortable with notes and if she can show and tell each in letters. Basically ask to teach you a few elements so you can be part of it as well.
It will give you a feedback how well child knows musical notes on the staff paper or needs more improvement. (Usually it always needs more improvement no matter what age)
3. Try to sing song here and there to remind a child how much you enjoy him/her playing your favorite tune and it's really lifting up everyone's mood everyday when he/she is playing it over and over again.
4. You can express how much you enjoying hearing the same tune many times in the row because it helps to remember notes and lyrics.
5. it's very helpful if the child practices while you stay near by and you do your thing....like cooking, knitting, writing, something to zone out and be present at whatever they do.
6. Backward Timer is very helpful because you can set time to practice and also include yourself that you will also follow the task for the same amount of time and see who does it till the end without distractions. What can be better than to do things together even it's not exactly the same task. it's all about connection, acknowledgement and validation.
7 Set appropriate time for practice that has no pressure but still under slight supervision. For example 30-45 min before the dinner or breakfast. If music too much for your ears, ask to use headphones. Using a headphones is another level of experience. Close sounds to your ears make one forget the world.
8. Always say positive things about your teacher. Gratitude always comes along handy when it comes to create new path and connection and what can be better than feeling that you have rare unique and amazing music teacher to share all her 25+ years experience into a very short time once a week.
9. Make music practice part of the identity and everyone will treat it like it's part of who you are and your favorite family routine. Isn't so nice when you hear piano playing in the neighborhood, well you are the one who can make those harmonious sound by providing safe friendly colorful space to do so.
10. Clapping and singing always helps to synchronize rhythm and sounds. Do it many times especially if you wait for the red light to switch on intersection or simply spending together family time.
11 Finally when song is learned ask what is the favorite part of the song and try break it down. It helps child to look into song a bit deeper and therefore it will stay in the memory much longer.
12. Never ever get mad or frustrated if the child doesn't listen, or doesn't follow your directions right away, it's not a competition, it's a play and you need to learn first how to communicate with child so you can send messages and suggestions without resistance.
Be sincere, be that role model and a student at the same time who wants to learn and let the process unfold without pressure expectation or pressure to go forward.
Music Lesson is a gentle process of unfolding lotus and one rought move can discourage some growth so in order to avoid that do it gently through curiosity love and patience. It takes at least 15 years to get a real hang of the instrument even that it's only a beginning stage that will allow you to go into next level of maturity and understanding what music is really all about.
I assure you there is always more to discover, listen and perfect skills.
Why? because the amount of material is enormous and it's all important to know believe or not.
13. Finally give some reward for overall amount of practice efforts and accomplishments. Make a field trip to show, ballet, opera, singing production, dancing, playing instruments, symphony and don't be afraid that performance is late at 7:30 pm or it's long for 3 hours.
I assure you by age 10 I was able to attend rehearsals and shows week after week without complain for years, watching and hearing many production beforehand such as "Swan Lake 5 times, Faust, Khovanshchina, Sadko, Boris Godunov, the Queen of Spade 4 times, La traviata 3 times, Carmen 4 times, Chopiniana and Mazepa. by age 15, considering lessons twice a week for 8 years I was able to play all production in the orchestra pit myself and get paid, well guess what by 30 I was burned out and ready to retire while most musicians are still would go for it and with big pleasure. My point, there is no need to rash to do anything because everything has its beginning and the end so stretch it and enjoy it fully.
Add amazing experience with theatres, dance shows, and concerts where the child can understand that options are huge as long as we all keep practicing favorite tunes while we sing along!