music lessons


instrument practice tips for parents - Dexter music

Getting children motivated to do their instrument practice can be daunting. As parents we have our hands full juggling work and home commitments. Our kids too, are almost as busy, with many after school activities requiring attention. In this hectic busy schedule we need to motivate ourselves first, in order to be of help to our kids.

Here are some tips to bring back the fun to practice. It does require a little effort on your part, but it will soon become much easier.

Action plan.

1. Set a Daily Practice Opportunity Time Slot

Work out with your child a time of the day for practice It needs to be the same time every day. From it as their "opportunity" to practice rather than it being a chore. The idea is to establish habit. You want them to be self motivated so they don't need constant reminding.

2. Focus on Quality Not Quantity

Explain that there is no set amount of time that must be completed. Together you want to find the quickest way to practice well. A short time of meaningful practice is what works best. You will find that by removing time limits your child will begin to practice more, not less.

3. Plan How to Practice the Instrument

Your child needs to know how to practice, a strategy, a simple method. Here is one that works and is easily explained to younger children. The child should play the piece through as best they can and identify the trouble spots. They then play those bars over a few times carefully and finally play the whole piece again.

4. Praise and More Praise

We all respond best to praise. The very best motivator your child can have is your approval. Compliment them on their playing, often. Praise them when they sit down to begin. Tell them how much you enjoy listening to their pieces. Make a big fuss.

5. Provide an Audience

When you can, give your child the chance to perform for you and other family members. Take older siblings into your confidence (they’ll love it) and explain the need for positive feedback! By giving them the chance to show off their skills, they not only feel special, but will want to practice in order to give a good performance.

6. Liaise With Their Music Instructor

Chat with their teacher often to get a feel for their expectations and suggestions. It allows you both to work together to achieve the best for your child. Also, review the quarterly DMA updates for each student. This tracks their progression, while usually offering additional at-home suggestions.

7. Reward Your Child for Practicing their Instrument

Some children respond to rewards and incentives. These can be useful. The most effective are ones which relate to their instrument or music in some form. (For instance, rewarding them with a trip to the music store for new strings, drumsticks, piano music for a new song, or a CD they want to learn a song from.)

Playing an Instrument Should be Fun

Playing an instrument is a skill which can bring you and your child lasting pleasure and enjoyment. It is meant to be fun. It is meant to be joyful. Motivate them by encouraging their natural playfulness, in making up tunes and experimenting with sounds and harmonies. Continually offer your support and words of encouragement. Our modern kids want to play modern music. Being able to play the latest pop song to their friends may prove to be the best motivator of all!


By Espie Estrella, Guide

Learning to play a musical instrument offers a lot of benefits. I personally believe that if there’s one thing you should learn in your lifetime, it’ s how to play an instrument. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Playing A Musical Instrument Makes You Smarter

Many studies have been conducted on the effects of music to the brain. Scientists say that children who are exposed to music, or those who play an instrument, do better in school than those who don’t. Recent research suggests exposure to music may benefit a child’s reading age, IQ and the development of certain parts of the brain. Adults can benefit from learning to play an instrument too because it helps the mind to be alert and remain active eventually helping to sharpen the memory.

2. Playing a Musical Instrument Teaches Discipline

Learning to play an instrument is like learning to speak another language and it can be challenging at times. One of the qualities musicians possess is discipline. You have to be disciplined in order to master playing your instrument. You have to set time each day to practice, practice and practice some more.

3. Playing A Musical Instrument Relieves Stress

We all have days when we are so stressed out and we just want to take a break from it all. Have you ever noticed that when you hear soft, soothing music you feel more relaxed? Playing an instrument can do that and more, especially if you’re the one playing. Music is one of life’s simple joys; it helps calm the mind.

4. Playing a Musical Instrument Gives a Sense of Achievement

If you’re a beginner learning to play your first piece, it can be frustrating. But once you’ve mastered it, the satisfaction you’ll feel is priceless. Never mind if it’s just a simple piece, believe me you’ll never forget the first piece you’ve mastered. You are one more step closer to achieving your goal and that is certainly something to be proud of.

5. Playing A Musical Instrument is Fun

Sure it can be a lot of hard work but there is no denying playing an instrument is fun. Once you get better at it, opportunities will arise for you to share your newly learned skill with your family and friends. Who knows, you may also consider playing professionally in the future. Playing a musical instrument opens up a lot of good possibilities that will surely enrich your life.