A frequent question we hear from parents is: how do I get my child to practice more? Here are three tips that I've found that work.
A bonus fourth tip is available for Mobile Music Lessons families! Log into the Families Forum and click on the discussion "4 practice tips for students."
Encourage short yet frequent practice sessions: Even 15-minute sessions five days a week can make a big difference for a beginning student. This is much more effective than one one-hour session once a week, since the student wouldn't have enough time to digest the information and learn from/reflect on previous sessions. Plus, sleep helps commit information to longterm memory.
Schedule practice adjacent to a required activity/habit: Practicing as soon as one returns home from school, or after dinner or before brushing one's teeth is a great idea, because it provides a good reminder to students who may forget to practice at a certain time or be under the impression that they missed their chance to practice if they missed their specific practice time.
Adjust to a growth mindset: A lot of times, students want the practicing to be fun. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn't, and that's ok. When a student has a growth mindset, it enables them to understand that sometimes they have to put in the hard work to reap the good rewards. Just like learning to read -- one has to learn the alphabet, phonetics, put small words and then sentences together, then read paragraphs before they can start understanding more complex text or even write their own stories. It's the same thing with music: the stick-to-it attitude and consistency of practice leads to small, incremental wins and growth.
Participate in recitals and performance opportunities: Performances help students work toward a goal, and they also help parents see and monitor their child's growth.