Practice Tips For Parents

Practice is essential to reap the rewards of musical study. This time and effort can be fun and engaging, as well as productive. Here are a few suggestions for both parents and adult students.
musical notes
What other things are in your daily routine that are nonnegotiable? All humans relate to routine and practice can become just like brushing your teeth, doing homework and eating properly.

Success comes through practice

Schedule a day/time

A consistent daily practice time leads to a greater potential for success. All humans relate to routine and practice can become just like doing homework, brushing your teeth, bedtime and eating properly. What other things are in your daily routine that are nonnegotiable?


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Set shorter times

For younger children, 15 minutes may be a long enough time to play. Maybe try a second practice session daily to enhance focus. Remember that practice is a process; progress may not be immediate.


Finger numbers, note names or notes lengths

Verbalize the Music

Verbalize the music during practice to call the brain into function, along with the hands. It’s difficult to name something if we are not thinking about it. If we say things out loud, such as finger numbers, note names or note values as we play, it improves our focus and reinforces the learning process.

support your student

Play a Supporting Role

Sometimes, just sitting by the student during a practice session or two can be encouraging.   Maybe ask him to explain or demonstrate what is on the assignment sheet — not  to correct  or supervise — but to understand what is going on at the lesson. You may both benefit from this.

If your child can’t explain a practice procedure or if you believe that he has misunderstood the practice directions, ask me for help rather than attempt to correct the issue.


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Spot Practice

Start by working on each issue that I note in the in the assignment book. Play the measure(s) in which the error(s) occur, and lastly, play the whole piece.

Spot practice helps to focus your freshest thoughts on making the adjustments before the thinking becomes less focused as it will when playing the piece as a whole over and over again.