Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Keep Kids Interested in Practicing Music

Helping kids find the motivation to practice music consistently requires you to come up with interesting ways to encourage them. Sometimes, providing an incentive for practicing, even if it is something small, may be the push kids need to practice. Avoid making practice time a chore, and provide opportunities for kids to perform publicly and receive praise for playing. Positive reinforcement helps students learn much more efficiently than punishments or forced practice sessions. Find what works for your child to keep him motivated and practicing daily.

Step 1

Create a practice session for the child during which he practices for 15 minutes per day. Many children, as they improve, will naturally increase their practice time.

Step 2

Practice sessions can be short and productive by including technique, such as major and minor scales, and finger dexterity exercises specific to the instrument. Eight minutes of practice each day should consist of technique.

Step 3

Provide etudes that the child wants to play as well as etudes from the literature. For instance, ask the child about his favorite music and find sheet music so he can play it. Make sure to include classical music from composers like Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart and Bartok.

Step 4

Play with your child. If he is taking piano lessons, learn to play along with him. It won't take much time if you start from the beginning with him. This will give the added benefit of bonding with your child, and it will lead to a lifelong activity both of you enjoy.

Step 5

Provide opportunities for your child to play in a group. Playing in a group with kids his own age will help him to stay motivated. Let him join the school band, choir or orchestra. If you attend a church, let him play for special occasions, such as Christmas and Easter.

Step 6

Create an incentive program for your child. Place gold, silver or bronze stars on a poster board to show his progress and reward him for practicing. Provide a gold star when he practices for 15 minutes without complaining. Give a silver star for 10 minutes of cheerful practice and a bronze star for five minutes. Gold stars are worth three points, silver stars, two points, and bronze, one point. When he gets a total of 50 points, reward him with something small that he wants.

Step 7

Introduce your child to famous artists that play his instrument. Often, the motivation to continue and improve on an instrument comes from watching other experts play. Children don't often realize what the instrument is supposed to sound like. Introducing them to professionals can enhance their understanding and motivate them to improve.

Resources

The Violin: Motivating Children to Learn a Musical Instrument Can be Tough; But That Doesn't Mean it Has to be Boring! [http://www.the-violin.com/motivating-children-to-learn.html]