Are you considering to send your child for music classes but are not sure of what to expect? Going for music classes may be a mystery for you if you've not attended any before. So it's no wonder you may feel slightly overwhelmed about starting your child on a musical journey. We have to admit, this journey is not easy! Being prepared and knowing what you can or should do can help ease the way forward.
Learning a music instrument is not going to always be a smooth-sailing process. And this particular process mainly involves consistent practice to improve. There may be times when your child does not want to cooperate and refuses to practice. Or perhaps you might start to feel overwhelmed and tired by having to convince him or her to practice (almost) daily.
When that happens, it's not too late to change the situation. But why wait for that when you can prepare yourself and your child to avoid such scenarios unfolding! Now I know what you're thinking in your head. So what is it that you should know or do to help your child with his or her music practice?
Read on to know what are 5 things you, as parents, should know about music practice!
1. Be committed
It’s a commitment that both parent and child are undertaking when you decide to send your child for music classes. Be mentally and also physically prepared for the rigour of music lessons - all the weekly classes and daily practices! Gear your child up and let them know it’s a long-term commitment so that they (and you) won’t think of quitting so easily. Show them some videos of children playing well on the piano and discuss with your child how they think they got to be so fluent in their piano playing.
Prioritise music classes and show your child that these lessons are significant by not letting your child skip music practice or lessons because of other activities that can be scheduled at other timings. The idea that music classes are important and not to be taken lightly will be transferred to your child. This way, your young one's mentality towards going for classes and practices will be different and more motivated! Stick to this commitment even when the going gets tough and your child will learn to persevere on!
2. Set a practice time
It’s good to set a fixed daily practice time and blend it into you and your child’s routine so that it becomes a habit for your little one! Find out the best time for your child to practice. Perhaps he or she does best when practising in the morning, after school or after dinner. The duration of the practice itself don’t have to be fixed but instead you can make practices be goal-based. If they reach the goal set for that particular day, they can rest and stop their practising. This creates an attitude that practice is not all about the amount of time spent at the piano but rather the quality of their practice!
3. Distraction-less environment
Fight the urge to watch television when your child is practising! We know it may be tempting but the television or any other devices can be distracting to your child when he or she practices. Especially if they are young as younger kids tend to have a shorter attention span and will lose focus easily. They may feel restless and want to quickly finish their practice or maybe even stop practising in order to join you in watching some entertainment. Now we don’t want that to happen right? Try to create an environment with no distractions during their practice time and be fully involved in your child’s practice!
4. Increase knowledge of music
It’ll be good to arm yourself with some basic knowledge of music so that you can better support your child’s music practice at home!
Usually, music teachers will write down what your child needs to practice at home for each week. Clarify with them if you’re not sure what you’ll need to look out for during practice. In addition, when your child practices, observe how they practice and guide them. As parents, it is important to provide the guidance in the early stages when they themselves might not be sure of how they should be practising. Having basic knowledge of music will make things easier!
5. Manage your expectations
Be realistic about your expectations of your child. Chances are, he or she is not going to be a fantastic player after just a few lessons. Learning a music instrument requires hard work so don’t be discouraged or disappointed if your child does not seem to be playing their pieces right. It’s important to know and acknowledge that the start of a journey is not about rushing to reach the end goal but it’s to build a solid foundation that will last.
It’s important to create motivation in your child so that they will look forward to music classes and practice! If they don’t have the motivation to do well, it’ll be difficult for practices to be productive. In the best case scenario, your child’s motivation will be intrinsic but if they need a little motivation push, head over to our post on tips for motivating your child to practice!
Practice is a trill!
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