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girl in blue and teacher working at piano

5 Ways to Help Your Kids Practice

learning the piano
Group Piano Lessons – Pianorama

One of the most common things parents tell music instructors is “my child doesn’t want to practice”. You’re not alone! Most kids go through this phase at some point. Ask your child’s music instructor how they felt about practicing when they were kids – chances are, even they did not want to sometimes!

A lot of parents expect that their kids will practice on their own if they are truly interested in learning the instrument. Believe it or not, parent involvement has a huge impact on your child’s success in their music lessons.

You don’t even have to be a musician yourself to help your kids practice – just follow these guidelines!

  1. Check in with your child’s music instructor regularly. Come in for the last 2-3 minutes of your child’s lesson to hear from the music instructor what the important things are to practice for the week. Effective practice includes good technique, not just blindly running through songs and exercises. Sometimes it is easier on both the instructor and the parent to have this information relayed and demonstrated in person, rather than your child trying to remember everything on their own. This also helps the instructor communicate any other important information you may need to know – such as your child’s progress, performance information, and important dates coming up. If you are unable to come in person every week, try for once a month check-ins, or send someone on your behalf!
  2. Set a timeframe for them, and make sure they stick to it! Short, frequent practice sessions are more effective and realistic to fit into your kid’s schedule. Your child’s age and skill level will help determine how long they should be practicing, but a solid 10-15 minutes everyday is a good place to start! Get them to practice at the same time of day everyday to make it a habit – whether it is before or after homework time, dinner time, or before bed. Kids generally will not stick to this on their own. Kind of like their chore schedule, they will need constant reminders and encouragement to do this everyday!
  3. Make it a game! Help change your kids mindset on practicing by making it fun! Use a stopwatch to time how fast they can go through their note-reading flashcards and see if they can beat their best time. Download some fun music learning games on their tablet. Use a rewards system. Spark some friendly competition between siblings. Get them to come up with a music game.
  4. Ask them to show you a song that they’re working on in their lessons. Accountability is key to sticking with any good habit. One way to keep your kids accountable for practicing is to get them to show you what they are working on! Let them practice on their own for a few minutes, and tell them you would like to hear a part of the song or exercise when their practice session is over.
  5. Encourage them to participate in performance opportunities. Working towards a goal is the most effective way to keep a practice schedule because the purpose of practicing is very clear! A performance is a great way to motivate your child to practice everyday.
kids on stage for vocal performance
Vocal Performance Program, Year-End Recital June 2019

If your child is new to music lessons, help them succeed by setting them up with a simple practice routine at home. And if your child has previously done music lessons, reaffirm your commitment to helping them grow by keeping them accountable! Watch as their skills and resilience steadily develop over the course of the year.

Ready to register your child for music lessons? We offer group music lessons for piano, voice, and ukulele. We also offer private guitar lessons, singing lessons, piano lessons, and much more! Click or contact us for more information.