Of course practicing is a must, but for how long? This will vary depending on the age of the student.
Be responsible for getting the practice started. Some children will take it upon themselves to practice but most children will need to be reminded
Together with your child set a regular, daily practice time. Consistent practice is essential for musical growth and enjoyment
Show interest in what your child is playing! Make positive, encouraging comments often. If your child knows you like the music they will be more inspired to play! I have found this is so important.
Become accustomed to repetition and when the music is more advanced, practicing the same repertoire over long periods.
When thinking about repetition this Chinese saying that comes to mind:
“If you want to see something new, walk the same path everyday.”
Allow your child to review songs they enjoy for part of their practice time or create their own music. This could be a good warm up before getting into the lesson assignment. This will also build a repertoire so when friends/family come over they always have something to play!
Encourage your child to play for family and friends!
Expose your child to a wide variety of music, including concerts and recitals, it is so important for kids to see good quality performances!
Repeating each song or exercise 5 times will be the goal (hopefully correctly playing the songs!) Very young children are task oriented and this gives them a goal to work towards.
As students mature, more effective practicing is necessary. For instance, listening for problem spots and isolating these spots for more detailed practicing. I will be discussing ideas during our lessons and going over
Parental involvement is essential for success. Young children do not understand what practicing is and how to practice and will need more guidance.
It seems that everyone has busy schedules and I have found that short practice times can be effective. If you only have 5-10 minutes, that is okay, especially if you can do this 2 times a day (3 would be even better!). It is better to practice for short periods than not at all!
Please do not cancel lessons due to lack of practice. Once in a while a week is so crazy that you do not have time to practice. This is okay; it will provide us with a great opportunity to work on sight reading skills, ear training and/or theory activities.