Getting Children to Practice

In order to improve, students must practice. While the teacher does as much as she can with the student in the classroom, encouraging the student to practice at home will also help.

One good way to reward and keep track of practice at home (and that the Michelle Tuesday Music School encourages) is to complete a minute of practice per age. So if your student is five, that child should practice for five minutes a day. You can set a timer so they don’t over practice. Give her a small reward once she’s finished this time (a sticker is a good one) and keep track of her time. You might consider letting her pick a prize once she’s earned a certain number of stickers. That’s all up to you.

At the school, she’ll get to prove that she has learned the song (and put in the time practicing), by playing it. If she shows she has mastered it, her teacher will put a sticker in her book and she’ll get a prize from the candy box. These little rewards will not only give her something concrete right away, but also give her the satisfaction of looking back through her book to see all the songs she’s mastered.

There’s an old adage ‘Practice makes perfect’. Sometimes just a little goes a long way.

The Music is the Thing

When most people think about music lessons, they envision groups or single person lessons of softly played Bach or Beethoven, even Tchaikovsky and Chopin. Maybe throw in some Mozart or Wagner. If the teacher or the student is really ambitious, they might attempt Rachmaninoff, Brahms and Liszt.

Music teachers have shifted to a more interesting take on learning music. Today’s kids don’t want to learn classical music (at least I never did as a teenager; although I have an appreciation for it now) and musicians like Lindsey Stirling and the 2 Cellos are making more current music popular are typical classical instruments.

Instead of focusing on classical music, students can examine a broad range of choices. Everything from rock and roll to country to video games. The use of more enticing music means a student is more interested in practicing and playing.

By giving students options for their music, teachers have opened a whole door into not only new students, but new avenues for expression.