Many children like to have a parent keep them company while they practice. You could watch their hand position as they play or count out loud for your child. It is really important for parents to participate in their kid’s practice. Students whose parents help them with practicing seem to progress better and faster.
Home practice is a time to experiment. After your child completes their assignment, encourage them to explore. Perhaps they can pick out a tune by ear, play a song they already know but in a different way, or make up their own song.
I have quite a few students that like making up their own songs. They always come to their lessons very excited to share them with me!
Another useful idea, especially for young kids, to have music card games, board games or other fun music activities. You can buy a different kind of games in a music store, and many of them are inexpensive. It will make learning music more fun for your child.
I sometimes recommend dividing practice sessions into two or more segments, especially with little kids. Two 15-minute or three 10-minute practice sessions can be more productive than one 30-minute practice.
If your child is going to play a musical piece four times through, have him play it once normally, once standing on one leg, another time while looking out the window, and a final time with his eyes closed. I do it with some of my students and they just love it. Sometimes they come up with different fun ideas on their own.
Inspire your child by going to professional concerts, even operas or symphonies, where he can hear and see his chosen musical instrument played beautifully. When I find out about a concert coming up, I often inform parents and my students about it and encourage them to attend. Those who attend always come back to the next lesson excited and often ask their parents to go again.
-Deanna Couturier (Bravo Employee)