You do not need to have a musical background to have an active role in your child’s music learning experience. Whether you are a music novice or you play an instrument, you can still have a musical bond with your child by being more engaged in her music practice. Your child will be happy to know that she has all your support and will be more motivated to practice more.
1. Set a Daily Time Slot
Work out with your child a time to practice daily. It should be the same time every day. The idea is to establish habit. Make it their “opportunity” to practice their instrument rather than it being a chore.
2. Focus on Quality Not Quantity
Explain that there is no set amount of time that must be completed. A short time of meaningful practice is what works best.
3. Plan How to Practice the Instrument
Your child should play the piece through the best they can and identify the trouble spots. They then play those bars over a few times carefully and finally play the whole piece again.
4. Praise and More Praise
We all respond best to praise. The very best motivator your child can have is your approval. Compliment them on their playing and tell them how much you enjoy listening to them. Make a big fuss!
5. Provide an Audience
When you can, give your child the chance to perform for you and other family members. Take older siblings into your confidence (they’ll love it) and explain the need for positive feedback! By giving them the chance to show off their skills, they not only feel special, but will want to practice in order to give a good performance.
6. Liaise With Their Music Instructor
Chat with your child’s music instructor and ask them about their expectations and suggestions. It allows you both to work together to achieve the best for your child.
7. Reward Your Child for Practicing their Instrument
Some children respond to rewards and incentives. These can be useful. The most effective are ones which relate to their instrument or music in some form. (For instance, rewarding them with a trip to the music store for new strings, drumsticks, piano music for a new song, or a CD they want to learn a song from.)
8. Playing an Instrument Should be Fun
Motivate them by encouraging their natural playfulness, in making up tunes and experimenting with sounds and harmonies. Continually offer your support and words of encouragement.