It can be difficult for some parents to help their child develop as a musician. Some parents grew up taking music lessons or classes and others never played anything besides rhythm sticks. As intimidating as it may seem, you are more than capable of helping your child who is involved in music. These tips will help give you confidence in how to help your child practice music.
Be Their Biggest Cheerleader
Kids love motivation. Just having someone to cheer them on is sometimes all the motivation they need. If your child gets frustrated while practicing, encourage them to keep trying. Show them that you care about what they are doing, and they will want to please not only their teacher, but their parent too.
Find a Good Teacher
I know this sounds self explanatory, but it’s true. A good teacher will tell you how to help your kids practice at home. They will make sure after each lesson or class, you know what your child needs to work on for the week. A good teacher will explain to you what scales, arpeggios, chords, and other music theory terms mean so you know how to help your child with their music theory. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find a good fit, but once you do, you will know.
Focus on How They’re Practicing
Even if you aren’t a musical person, you will be able to tell if your child is having a successful practice session. If you hear them banging on the piano keys, singing in a silly tone, blasting loudly through their trumpet, then you know this is more than likely not what they are supposed to be doing. Kids know what to practice, and sometimes just need their parent to get them back on track. If they know you are listening, and are able to tell if they are “really” practicing, then they will have better practice sessions.
Trust the Process
Once you have helped guide your child in those early years of music lessons, trust the process. Trust that once your child is a little older, they will know what to practice and should be taking the initiative to do it on their own. I played clarinet in band, and just like with my other classes, I knew what my “homework” was and practiced what was assigned to me. You will still be there to support and guide them, but with age the child should begin to find motivation to practice all on their own.
Set Aside Practice Time
When kids are young, they need your help setting up a clear time to practice. This time could be right after school, after finishing homework, or right after dinner. Whatever plan you make, just stick with the schedule so they know that designated time of the day is practice time. If you have other kids in the house, you should read how to practice piano in a noisy home. As your child gets older, they will set aside practice time on their own because they will have a desire to improve between each lesson.
Have you found ways on how to help your child practice music? Does your child find ways to motivate themselves to keep trying? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below.
If you are a parent, student, or teacher who wants to learn more about music, connect with other musicians, or wants to post their latest videos of what they’ve been working on, I would love for you to join my Facebook group Music Education Connection. Collaborate, learn from each other, and grow new friendships. This is a place to receive encouragement, positive feedback, and to ask questions.