Three Ways to Help Your Child Practice

As a music educator, I have found one of the greatest frustrations of parents is when their child doesn’t want to practice.

It’s a familiar cycle – the child starts the lessons with great enthusiasm, only to lose the desire when it comes to practice time.

Why is this?

Music is a skill that you never stop learning, and it is harder and less enjoyable at the beginning stages.

This is because the act of practicing music is actually rewiring your child’s brain in profound and powerful ways – even increasing their IQ.

This rewiring occurs when the child is doing something just out of their grasp, and as we all know, doing difficult things isn’t always fun.

How do we engage the child in this incredibly helpful activity, without making it a chore?


1. The Right Level of Difficulty

One of the keys is to make the difficulty of the lessons just hard enough. This enables the brain to go into the correct learning state and to get maximum results.

If the lessons are too easy, the child is bored and no learning occurs.

However, if the lessons are too hard, the child gets frustrated and no learning occurs.

The right level of difficulty is something I, and my teachers, take very seriously.

Our goal is to make lessons the right combination of fun and challenges to keep your child learning at their optimum rate.

That’s why we treat each student individually and adjust our curriculums accordingly.

Make sure to speak with your child’s teacher regularly to make sure the lessons are going at the right pace for your child.


2. Rewards System

Another area that is extremely effective in keeping students engaged is providing systematic goals and rewards.

The process of celebrating gains while also setting future goals is a powerful motivating tool.

At the John Henny Music Academy, we employ the Musical Ladder System (MLS) to keep our students engaged and focused.

The MLS provides certificates, wristbands, and trophies to denote each level of accomplishment.

We then celebrate each passing level with photos we post on our in-studio TVs and social media (with parent’s permission, of course).

I have found the MLS system to be a perfect compliment to our curriculums and a vital part of keeping students engaged and enthusiastic.

You can create small prizes for specific goals, such as consecutive days of practicing, or learning a new piece of music. Once you reward your child, show them the next prize to works towards. This will help keep them motivated and excited about their instrument.


3. Shorter Practice Times

The key to gaining a skill is not just practice, but focused practice. This is why shorter times might be more beneficial to your child, especially if they are a beginner.

Three 10 minute sessions, in which the child is focused, are far more powerful than a 30 minute session where attention begins to wander.

Experiment with shorter daily sessions. You can then begin to make them slightly longer as your child becomes used to the routine.

Combining the right lessons with rewards and focused practice will make a dramatic difference in your child’s ability level and enjoyment.


P.S. If you'd like to see how the right music lessons can make all the difference for your child, book your FREE consultation lesson with us today!