Your little one was excited to take up a musical instrument, but she hasn’t been practising it as much as she should. Here’s how to encourage her to get back to playing it without having to remind her.
Your child enjoys music, so when she asked if she could learn how to play an instrument, how could you say no?
At first, she showed such enthusiasm when it came to practising, but it’s been weeks now and her interest seems to have waned. Her practice sessions have taken a backseat to other activities and the only way she’ll play is if you nag her to do so.
Even if your child has a special talent for music, it’s not always easy getting her to stick to a practice schedule. Yet nagging won’t solve the problem – it may even turn her off from wanting to play.
To encourage her to keep practising on her own, follow these tips from Ketherine Lim, a senior education officer who has been with Cristofori Music School for 10 years.
Motivate and excite her – it’ll bring out her desire to practise without needing to be asked
Even if your child only spends a few minutes practising, it’s important to recognise this effort and reward her with words of encouragement. A simple phrase like, “That was a great practice session, keep at it and you’ll get even better!” will make her feel like she’s on the right track and challenge her to continue practising.
Another way to motivate your child is to expose her to the music of some of the world’s best musicians, whether it’s by bringing her to live performances or getting her to listen to recordings. This will fuel her interest and may even inspire her to want to play as well as them.
Help her set realistic practice goals and offer guidance
Work with her to set a goal for every practice session. For instance, does she want to be able to play a particular tune by heart or master some tricky notes? Sit with her while she’s playing so that you can guide her along and help her practise more effectively.
Ketherine, who has a master’s degree in education, also shares how parents can avoid making these common mistakes.
Mistake #1: Focusing on practice duration rather than practice goals Emphasise quality over duration. Get clear practice instructions from your child’s music teacher and make sure your child follows them. For example: practise part by part or phrase by phrase, then, once she can play a phrase fluently, she can move on to the second phrase, combine both phrases, and so on. This teaches your child to avoid the bad habit of playing from the beginning whenever she stumbles, and instead, move on from any part in the piece. In fact, 10 minutes of practice is lengthy for most young children, Kethrine points out.
Mistake #2: Expecting quick results.
Learning music takes time. It’s important to build a strong foundation before moving on to the next grade. Forcing your child to achieve a result quickly may discourage her from practising.
Mistake #3: Comparing your child to other kids.
Just because her schoolmate has completed a certain grade by a certain age, it doesn’t mean your child has to as well. Social pressure has led many a child to give up on learning music.
Mistake #4: Allowing distractions.
Help your child plan her days wisely, with time for homework, TV, rest, play, instrument practice, and so on. Knowing that she has a certain amount of time for music will help her stay focused during her practice sessions.
The right music school will keep her motivated and engaged
Cristofori Music School offers music lessons and organises regular music events, from student recitals and competitions to masterclasses, to get kids excited about learning an instrument as well as help improve their playing skills. The teachers are experts at identifying their students’ learning styles and customise their teaching approach to keep the kids engaged. They also let their students play the music they like.
Most importantly, the school tailors its lessons to the individual student – this creates an environment that’s conducive to learning, not to mention, fun. And when kids associate learning music with fun, you won’t have to nag them to practise because they’ll want to make it a part of their regular routine.
To find out more, visit cristofori.asia/main/.
– Brought to you by Cristofori Music School –