When your child is taking music lessons, practice time is an important part of their development. Setting aside time to work on the skills that they have learned in lessons can help students improve much faster than if they don’t spend any time practicing. But how do you get them to actually sit down and do it? Encouraging kids to practice their music skills can help them truly excel, so finding ways to set aside time without starting a fight will help make those lessons worthwhile.
How to get kids to practice their music skills
At Capstone Music Burlington, we teach musical instruments and vocals by playing, not practicing. That’s something we want for our students at home, too. Don’t frame learning music as a job, but facilitate it and ensure it’s fun. Check out our tips and if you’re nearby, come visit us!
When kids practice their newly learn skills regularly, they are more likely to retain what they’ve learned and improve their abilities. Some ways to make practice a regular part of the week include:
Help them set realistic goals
When kids are working on learning a new skill like playing an instrument, helping them set goals that they can realistically meet will give them something to strive towards during their practice time.
Praise their progress
Praising a child’s progress can make a big difference when it comes to their willingness to practice and improve their skills.
Make it fun
Incorporating games and challenges can help make practicing new music fun for kids of all ages. Kids are more likely to continue with music lessons when they are having fun, so making practice times fun rather than a chore is key.
Let them choose the music & instrument they want to learn
Kids who are playing music that they enjoy are usually more interested in spending time practicing their instrument. Allowing kids to choose what kind of music they will learn can help motivate them to spend time practicing.
Create a consistent practice schedule
When kids know that they are going to spend a set amount of time each day practicing and when, they will soon see it as a normal part of their routine, just like brushing teeth and eating breakfast. Just as with many adults, knowing that they have something on their schedule makes it easier to incorporate into their day.
Encourage active listening to different genres of music
Part of learning about music is discovering what kinds of music interest them, so encouraging kids to listen to a wide variety of music genres can be beneficial.
Give them opportunities to perform and collaborate with other musicians
Using newly developed music skills to put on a performance or play together with other budding or practiced musicians can be a great motivator to encourage practice time for kids. The promise of a performance or group music session is like giving them a prize along their music journey. Even if there are none scheduled with their school, you can host a family gathering to give kids a chance to show off their new skills.
Make practicing a family activity
Rather than having to push one child to dedicate time to practicing their skills by themselves, turning practice time into a fun family activity can make kids more interested in continuing.
Use technology and apps to enhance the learning experience
With cell phones and technology so involved in our lives today, it only makes sense to use them to benefit the development of new skills. There are countless apps that can help kids learn how to read music, improve their ear, learn music theory and even write songs!
Hire a great music teacher
Whether taking group lessons or private classes, a music teacher will provide students with personalized feedback and attention. This can help kids improve their focus and understand what skills to focus on during their practice time.
Practicing music shouldn’t be a chore
Although practicing music skills between lessons is an essential part of learning, the process shouldn’t feel like a chore. When kids are encouraged to have fun while playing and practicing, they are more likely to stick with the process. Finding ways to encourage kids to sit down to practice their skills between lessons can feel intimidating and nearly impossible, but finding ways to incorporate fun can make all the difference.