Practice Advice: Mainly for parents !!
|There are several aspects of practice that are more psychological in nature.
Music practice should be a part of the routine of the household rather than a separate event.
The location of the instrument can make a huge difference to the amount of practice that is done. If a child has to go to their room and shut the door to do their practice, this can have a very negative impact. It is better to make the musical instrument a part of the family entertainment area, i.e. in the family room, and near the computer.
NEVER use practice as punishment, and never force your child to practice, forced practice is usually counter-productive. The amount of time spent practicing varies from person to person. The main factor here is concentration span. Some children (and adults) have very small concentration span for music practice, no problem, small amount of regular practice will achieve a lot more than one long one. 2 ten-minute sessions are a lot more productive than a 20-minute slog. There are some people who can sit for hours, most cannot.
Guilt manipulation is a method that I hear about quite a lot, it usually goes along the lines of the parent(s) saying " I am paying all this money for an instrument and lessons and you are not doing enough practice…. Etc" don't do this, it really only enforces a huge negativity on the whole exercise.
·Some Children do remarkably well with little practice
·The amount of practice is not constant. There will be low spots, and high spots
·When you update your instrument it enthuses children to play more
·When children achieve they play more
·When parents and teachers are interested in the child's music they will play more
·Teachers cannot make children practice, they can encourage, but not enforce
·Rewards are far more effective than threats.
·Being proud and praising the positive aspects is also more effective that being critical e.g. "he never does enough practice!" is a negative, "when he does his practice he can play really well" is a positive.