How to Help Your Child Practice Music: Key #1

How to Help Your Child Practice Music: Key #1

Everyday around the world, parents are nagging kids to practice music, and kids are fighting back, dragging their feet and thinking wistfully about the activities they would rather be doing. I have a secret. It doesn’t have to be that way. Practicing doesn’t have to cause aggravation, conflict and pain in your family. In fact, practicing can be a time that kids actually enjoy and that can improve your relationship with your kids. **GASP** “Tell me more, crazy lady!” you say? It would be my pleasure.   The first key to successful music practice I taught piano lessons to a family with three girls ranging from 6 to 10 years old, each with completely different personalities. They decided that they would participate in our studio’s 100-Day Practice Challenge. Students have to practice their instrument for the length of their lesson (i.e. 30 minutes) for 100 days in a row with no exceptions. This meant that the mom was committing to supervising the girls for an hour and a half for 100 days in a row. When I asked her how it was going after the first few weeks, this is what she said: “In the beginning it was hard, and they complained and fought me about practicing. But, now it’s just something we do. They know to expect it and they’ve stopped arguing. All of them willingly go to the piano bench, and I need to help them sometimes, but I am thrilled at how much they are progressing. I didn’t know they could play so well!” Did you notice what she did that was so successful? She was consistent....
Performing Matters–Here are 4 Reasons Why!

Performing Matters–Here are 4 Reasons Why!

As we get close to recital season, you may be wondering why performing matters at all. Some parents are afraid their kids might crumble under the pressure, some adult students are wondering why they got themselves into this, and most students are just plain excited. So what’s it all about, anyway? Regularly performing the music we learn is extremely valuable, for musical reasons and for personal growth. Here’s why performing matters. 1. Performing matters because students learn life skills. Students who perform regularly have the opportunity to practice performing under pressure. As adults, we are often called upon to perform a skill under pressure. The more we practice, the better we get. The skill of performing music can be applied to job interviews, presentations, test taking, or public speaking. We don’t teach students how to ignore pressure or pretend they’re not nervous. We teach them to be familiar with that feeling, focus and push through for a successful outcome. In short, we practice being courageous! “But what if my child really messes up?!” Guess what? Mistakes during performances are not failures. The skill of making a mistake and recovering from it is invaluable to leading a successful life. We all have to learn to move on from mistakes and refocus. In fact, it takes as much skill to recover from an error during a performance as it does to play it perfectly. Obviously, no one wants to make mistakes, but life is full of imperfection. The sooner we learn how to get past that, the more mature people we can be. If you or your child make a mistake during...