Since consistent practicing is the key to success for all musicians, I’d like to share some Practice Tips with my students and their families to help make their musical journey fun and rewarding.
The Joy of Practicing:
As a private music instructor I strive to motivate and inspire my students through their love of music. However, a small amount of discipline is necessary to turn motivation and inspiration into music. It’s this element of discipline that sometimes turns “The Joy of Practicing” into “The Agony of Practicing.” My goal is to get all my students to realize their potential as musicians and have a blast in the process! I’ve created a list of tips on how to structure music practicing in your home to increase your children’s enjoyment and progress. Some of these methods worked for me when I was young, others were developed by me and my students over the years. I hope these tips will help bring music and joy into your household!
Establishing a routine is hands down the easiest and most effective way to practice consistently. Establishing a routine can be hard at first, but once practicing is a part of student’s daily routine, that student will never have to “find time” to practice. It’s already there!
The key to establishing a routine is choosing a time of day that always works. Some good examples are: before school (my favorite), after dinner, after homework, and before TV.
Short-term and Long-term reward systems can be a great asset to developing musicians. Fun and exciting rewards for students are limitless!
One of my friends grew up with the Jelly Bean game and I think it works wonderfully with small children. My friend’s mom placed a line of jelly beans on the piano and each time she played a song she got to eat a jelly bean.
As students get older, jelly beans might not cut it. Try rewarding your children with a fun activity or a pizza movie night if they complete their weekly practice goal.
Some parents require students to practice before they’re allowed to play video games or watch TV. Students are typically very motivated by screen time and this helps them realize that screen time is a reward to be earned.
Like your children’s teachers at school or at home, I’m providing a valuable education that will enrich your children’s lives in many ways. You can encourage your children to see practicing their instrument as “music homework.” Including “music homework” into your children’s daily “school homework” is very effective.
Piano Recommended Practice Time
Primer Level 15 minutes 5 days a week
Level 1 20 minutes 5 days a week
Level 2A 20 minutes 5 days a week
Level 2B 25 minutes 5 days a week
Level 3+ 30 + minutes 5 days a week
Recorder Recommended Practice Time
1st Year 15-20 minutes 5 days a week
2nd Year 20-25 minutes 5 days a week
3rd Year + 30+ minutes 5 days a week