logo

818-386-8850

Directions

31368 Via Colinas #102

Westlake Village, CA 91362

818-386-8850

music@123rock.net

31368 Via Colinas #102

Westlake Village, CA 91362

How to Motivate Your Child to Practice

Among the numerous challenges that parents face in handling children’s music lessons (choosing the instrument, finding a good teacher, etc.), getting kids to practice is the most daunting of all.


September 15, 2017

Getting children to practice and its importance make it hard to believe that there are so few articles addressing this. What’s more, parents and music teachers often resort to the failed tactics they remember from childhood in desperate attempts to motivate kids to practice.

A common example of this issue is the “practice for 30 minutes” rule, in which a music teacher will recommend that the child practice 30 minutes a day and generally increase this time as they get older. In attempts to enforce adherence to this arbitrary commitment, parents will often “pay” the child for 30 minutes of “work” with something rewarding like watching TV, playing outside or playing video games. The problem with this method is that it makes the 30 minutes of practicing something to be endured in order to do something that is valued. But what is so sacred about 30 minutes of practicing? Where did this standard unit come from? How is it better than 27 minutes or 34?

To transform practicing into a rewarding activity, parents should encourage reaching daily musical goals. For example, instead of saying that 30 minutes of practice is enough regardless of what is achieved, you might say, “Today the goal of practicing is to play the first eight measures of your piece without any mistakes.” Whether reaching this goal takes 12 minutes or 40 minutes isn’t important. What is important is that the child knows the musical goal of each daily practice session and feels motivated to be as efficient as possible while practicing in order to reach that goal and feel that sense of accomplishment. If the goal is playing the first eight measures on Monday, the logical goal for Tuesday is to play the next eight. Pretty soon, the child will acknowledge the cumulative goal of the week: to play the entire piece free of mistakes. This leads to more motivation, more effort during practice and most importantly, pride in what they have accomplished.

Although this method achieves greater success, it also requires more effort by the parents; it’s easy to look at the clock and monitor 30 minutes, but goal-related practicing means setting daily goals for your children, monitoring the ease or difficulty your child experiences with his music and setting new, more demanding goals. Don’t worry! Here are some tips to help you:

First, divide the week’s goal or teacher’s expectations into seven equal parts and make sure your child understands each one. On some days, your child might choose to work toward two days’ worth of goals, in which case, it’s wise to give them the option of skipping the next day’s practice session.

Daily goals should be attended to every day and should involve playing scales or other technique-building skills; advancement on specific pieces can be more spread out, as long as the child continues to move forward with the piece.

While it may be tempting, don’t bargain with practice time. Although in trying to skip a day, your child may really mean, “I will practice double tomorrow,” this sets the standard that practice time is negotiable.

Progress should be measured and appropriately altered each day (if needed) by analyzing the amount of effort, frustration and completion/advancement in reaching the daily goals. Yes, this is more work than monitoring 30 minutes a day, but in the end, this will be much easier than the agony of forcing children to adhere to the mandatory 30 minutes of meager, unmotivated effort. It will also make everyone’s life a little more enjoyable!

 

By Dr. Robert A. Cutietta
Read full article at PBS.org
Comments are closed.
From Twitter

I love how Marcos lets me learn so many songs, not just one!

I love how Marcos lets me learn so many songs, not just one! I like how he gives me compliments.…

Julia, age 8

2016-10-06T01:13:27+00:00

Julia, age 8

I love how Marcos lets me learn so many songs, not just one! I like how he gives me compliments. It’s really fun when Marcos does the bass clef with the left hand and I get to make up my own song that goes with it for a warm up. It’s fun because I get to make up my own songs. I love the sound of the piano!

I really like that we get to pick what songs we want to learn in Marcos’s guitar class

I really like that we get to pick what songs we want to learn in Marcos’s guitar class. I also…

Mikey, age 12

2016-10-06T01:19:06+00:00

Mikey, age 12

I really like that we get to pick what songs we want to learn in Marcos’s guitar class. I also love that he is compassionate and lets us progress at our own pace. Marcos knows EVERYTHING about instruments, and I’m glad he can share some of it with me. I’m glad that I get to learn how to read, write, and play music for the guitar. It is a lot of fun when Marcos and I play the guitar together!

I highly recommend 123 Rock to anyone looking for a music teacher!

Both of my children love their music lessons with Marcos. They look forward to their music lessons each week and…

- Angie, parent

2016-10-06T01:20:25+00:00

- Angie, parent

Both of my children love their music lessons with Marcos. They look forward to their music lessons each week and come home eager to practice their new pieces. I especially love that he teaches them to compose their own pieces and inspires their musical creativity. Marcos is always positive and encouraging with my children, and he has a knack for bringing out their best. I highly recommend 123 Rock to anyone looking for a music teacher!

123 Rock studio is an inspiring place to make music

Marcos Moscat is a talented musician and instructor. His approach to teaching is kind and respectful. He encourages his students…

Nancy-Jean Pement, parent

2016-10-06T01:21:23+00:00

Nancy-Jean Pement, parent

Marcos Moscat is a talented musician and instructor. His approach to teaching is kind and respectful. He encourages his students to study music that appeals to them. By attending to the interests of each student, Marcos is a master at nurturing student engagement. Our son, Jackson, has been taking lessons for over two years. Jackson is proud of his accomplishments at the piano and he enjoys the time he spends with his teacher. Both Marcos and Isabel are warm and […]
Voice Lessons Woodland Hills | Voice Lessons Westlake Village | Voice Lessons Thousand Oaks | Voice Lessons Studio City | Voice Lessons Studio City | Voice Lessons Oak Park | Voice Lessons Newbury Park | Voice Lessons Encinoy | Voice Lessons Calabasas | Voice Lessons Agoura Hills | Piano Lessons Woodland Hills | Piano Lessons Westlake Village | Piano Lessons Thousand Oaks | Piano Lessons Studio City | Piano Lessons Sherman Oaks | Piano Lessons Oak Park | Piano Lessons Newbury Park | Piano Lessons Encino | Piano Lessons Calabasas | Piano Lessons Agoura Hills | Guitar Lessons Woodland Hills | Guitar Lessons Westlake Village | Guitar Lessons Thousand Oaks | Guitar Lessons Studio City | Guitar Lessons Sherman Oaks | Guitar Lessons Oak Park | Guitar Lessons Newbury Park | Guitar Lessons Encino | Guitar Lessons Calabasas | Guitar Lessons Agoura Hills | Drum Lessons Woodland Hills | Drum Lessons Westlake Village | Drum Lessons Thousand Oaks | Drum Lessons Studio City | Drum Lessons Sherman Oaks | Drum Lessons Oak Park | Drum Lessons Newbury Park | Drum Lessons Agoura Hills | Drum Lessons Calabasas | Drum Lessons Encino