On Motivating Your Child to Practice Their Musical Instrument

Published on 28 March 2024 at 18:55

 

 

Your child has chosen an instrument, or you have chosen one for him. You found a perfect teacher, but your child wants to avoid putting in the practice time their teacher recommends. What can you do as a parent to ensure that your child practices daily to achieve their goals and is willing to put in the time and effort to play their instrument, at least in an acceptable way?

First, it is essential to be consequent in a consistent manner. Show that you love music, be interested in going to concerts, and use this as an opportunity to learn and enjoy this journey with your child.

There are some ways you can motivate your child to practice their instrument.

 

  • You can play the radio or CDs at home while spending time with your child. When I was very young, my mother always tuned in to the classical channel on the radio in the mornings when we were alone at home. As a classroom teacher, I played some recordings of J.S. Bach in the elementary classroom during certain times, and the children enjoyed it. There are many options on the Internet nowadays to download different genres of music on a computer or a phone. 

 

  • Just as parents repeatedly read books to their children, you can often play specific recordings of pieces to your children. Classical radio channels sometimes have programs where they discuss composers and their compositions and conduct interviews with prominent performers. These can serve as stepping grounds to introduce your child to composers' biographies and increase their musical knowledge.

 

  • Listening to music can also take on a playful tone. Ask your child if they remember the composer of a particular piece when familiar music gets played. Play a musical game about who you think the composer is. My husband always played this game when he drove my daughter to school in the mornings when she was younger. Providing ample opportunities to listen and experience music can motivate a child to practice their instrument. A parent can also sign up for concert series and habitually go to concerts regularly.

 

  • Ask your child's teacher what they think about the hours your child needs to practice. Every instrument has different physical requirements, and those might vary by age.

 

  • Understandably, you want your child to develop independent skills while practicing studying and doing homework. However, sitting in their practice time as a parent is highly beneficial. Usually, teachers write a practice plan for their students, especially younger ones. Even if your child's teacher does not write a plan, you can kindly ask your child's teacher to provide one. Follow that plan along with your child. Have him do that in your presence. You should do that at different phases, depending on the feedback you get from your child. If you feel you have repeated things enough times along with him. You should leave him alone for three to four days to give them a chance to make sense of all the instructions themselves. 

 

  • A good routine helps a child to progress and to learn the skills. Consult the teacher if there is anything that you need to remind your child during their practice. A string teacher might comment on the bow hold, or a wind instrument instructor might mention the breathing. Observe your child during practice sessions on these aspects and gently remind your child to correct them. If your child wishes to practice their instrument all by themselves without your help, then so be it, but until then, to jump-start, the right kind of help from the parent could be highly beneficial for the child.

 

  • Children make significant progress with parental input. However, the parent must know when to intervene with the practice sessions or to let go. Talk to your child occasionally if you feel they need to put more time into practicing. Suppose they feel discomfort while practicing, and talking about them might clarify what they are. Communicate to your teacher early on to devise solutions to those individualized problems. When you see that your daughter or son has a good ear, musical talent, and wants to work hard, then remain engaged in their journey by being present at their concerts, just as a parent of a child involved in sports would. When your child plays well and earns good remarks from the teacher, applaud, encourage, and show enthusiasm for their newly acquired venue.

 

  • Encourage the child to participate in musical presentations, in school, in music school, with the teacher's student concerts, and in youth orchestras, ensembles, and anything else that can bring a feeling of success.

 

The benefits of playing music are immeasurable. It would help if you remained engaged in your child's learning music process, as playing music will boost your child's self-esteem. A child will build confidence, discipline toward work habits, and organizational skills, which in turn transfer to other areas or subject matters in school. Even when eventually your child does not pursue a musical field, the knowledge he gained from his training will help them immensely.

In what ways do you motivate your child to practice their instrument? Please share in the comments below. 

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