10 Tips to Help Motivate Your Child to Practice

How do I get my child to want to practice more? Oh, if only I could have a dollar for every time I have been asked this excellent question over the past 20 years. In truth, even now, I know of no perfect, one-size-fits­-all type of answer but there are a few things I can happily share that may be of help.   #1 – Get Started Right – Learning Goes Up or Down One of the most consistent things I’ve noticed in students over the years is that most go in one of two directions. Either the student gets a bit behind at first so they don’t play as well as they’d like so they don’t get to play the songs they want which makes them want to practice less which makes them get stuck on the same song….practice even less….same song…..etc.  OR  – A students starts off with a burst of energy and this gets them ahead and makes their next lesson more rewarding, which makes them want to practice more, which makes the next lesson exciting, which makes them want to practice more…great songs…confidence….etc. Truly very few students stay level; most are headed on a clear trajectory. Either a downward one that feels like constant effort to try and reverse, or an upward one where they are virtually completely self-motivated and happy. The key is the START. Doing well at the beginning sets you or your child up to succeed. Having said that, it is never too late to make positive changes to one’s practicing routine, attitudes, and habits which, with the help of some of my other tips, can get your child moving upwards again.   #2 – Get Your Child to be Your Teacher One of the best ways to ensure your child has learned something well is to get them to explain it to you. This can be an excellent bonding moment between you and your child as he/she proudly shows you what they know that maybe Mommy or Daddy “don’t know”. In truth, this is often the case as your child may show you things you indeed didn’t know. Or even if you did, it is so wonderful hearing it from your child. Now, from your child’s point of view this is one of the best imaginable confidence builders as they develop a sense of being the “expert” at what they are...
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