Five Tips for Getting Kids To Practice

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Having fun 'Jamming' is a great way to practice while with friends.

Getting kids to practice their instrument can be tough sometimes. There are a million other things demanding their attention every day, and we’ve all heard the horror stories about children who were forced to practice against their will and grew to hate their instrument. At the same time, supporting your student right is probably the single biggest factor in their success. Time and again we see that if a student gets into good habits early and gets to the first recital, that’s when things really click. 

So how can you avoid the practice blues? Here are five tips:

  1. Bite-Size Bits
    Tip #1 may not be revolutionary, but it might be the most important one. Practicing for an hour is hard work. Practicing for 15 minutes isn’t. Break up practice time into manageable pieces. Try devising a reward system where your child gets to play 30 minutes of their favorite video game for every 15 minutes of practice.
  2. Have a Goal
    Every time your student sits down to practice, he or she should have a goal in mind. “Today, I’m going to practice a chromatic scale in triplets until I can do it at a quick tempo.” “For this session, I’m going to work through the technical part of my piece so I can play all the correct notes.” “My goal is to emphasize every change in dynamics.” See? It’s easy, and it gives them something concrete to accomplish.
  3. Play With a Recording
    For many songs and instruments, you can find a recording of the piece your student is working on. Have them play along with the recording. It doesn’t matter if they play it perfectly, just have them jump back in when they mess up and play as much as they can.
  4. Different Times For Different Students
    It’s a fact: different students learn better at different times of the day or in different physical environments. If your student is having trouble, try practicing at a different time or in a different room.
  5. Practice Together
    Everything’s more fun with a friend! For some students, the issue isn’t practicing, but being alone. Make music practice something fun you do with your student! 

At the School of Dance and Music, our music lessons are constructed with similar ideas in mind. Talk to our front desk or give us a call to learn more about all our lessons at our Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach locations. Don’t forget! We offer lessons in piano, violin, voice, guitar, bass, and drums. So pick an instrument and get started playing!


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