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Music learning provides various benefits documented in our previous blog posts. However, the real challenge is to convince your child to practice the instrument. Assuming you have tried the five ways to inspire your child to practice an instrument and it is still not working.
Let’s dive into the learning environment at home. As quoted from Mahatma Gandhi, “There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”
Imagine a scenario at home, “I don’t want to practice” or “I want to quit because I don’t like to practice”. Firstly, you have to understand that this is completely normal. Music lessons are fun and exciting at the beginners’ level, when practicing does not take a lot of effort.
Giving in is a quick way to avoid whining and complaining attitude from your child. It often wears down even the best daddies and mummies. What about the future challenges in life that could not be avoided?
This is a good chance to develop your child's self-discipline.
Before you know it, your child might achieve his/her first milestone. You will be proud. When consistency is achieved and you work in a team which include the school, teacher, parent and student, this provides alot of opportunities to share your problems and they could offer suggestions and ideas to help your child.
It is also important to begin with these two components:
1. Create a good learning environment at home
2. Provide the support and guide your child
Here is the breakdown of a list of supportive practice environment (also mentioned in our previous post):
List of Supportive Practice Environment
1. The television is turned off during practice time.
2. Mobile and computer games should be turned off during practice time.
3. Younger siblings should be occupied with other activities away from the practice area.
4. Plan a suitable time that is best for your child to practice, set a timeframe for his/her practice.
5. Place the music books in the same location to avoid misplacement of books.
6. Follows the points or instructions given by the music teacher in the notebook or music pieces.
7. Motivate your child to practice independently.
Teaching your child good practice habits at home takes a lot of patience. Since research has shown that students involved in music helps them to achieve better academic results than non-music students, helping your child to stay committed and encourage continued participation is one of the best investments in your child’s future. It also develops self-discipline which will come handy in school, their future career and beyond.
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One of the greatest barriers that prevent the breakthrough for learning to play an instrument in the long run is the idea that music is just for fun. It might be true to bring music appreciation to children as young as two to three years old. However, as your child progresses, it takes time and effort to turn their music pieces into something beautiful. Practice!
If you child is already learning music, there are five ways that you could inspire your child to practice at home.
Children that are between three to seven years old need higher level of supervision. Often times, the instructions/points to note are given by the music teacher in the notebook or music pieces. Read them.
Silence is golden. Your child needs concentration during the practice session. Ensure an environment free of distractions for instance; sounds from the television programmes or activities that will distract your child will make the practice session more productive.
Encourage practice as everyday activity
Instill daily practice as part of the activity, just like brushing your teeth every day. It helps further by following the instructions/points to note given by the music teacher in the notebook or music pieces.
Perhaps, ask your child to teach you how to play the instrument! It helps to reinforce what they have learnt in class. Your child may repeat the same song many times during the week, but practice makes perfect. Motivate them to practice and resist from saying, “Why are you playing the same song again?”
Reward your child for practicing the instrument regularly. It could be as simple as, “Practice this song well and you will receive ...” This reward system hopes to gradually build confidence and commitment in your child when learning an instrument.