Let’s not kid around here, there are times when you may wonder whether you are doing the right thing by making your child practice. What should be a happy learning experience can be so tough and bring anxiety and frustration to the family dynamic. I really think unless you do daily, and I mean daily, practice from the very beginning it is almost impossible to get into the habit later. If you’re just starting your child now please please please just get your practice done every day!
- You’re building a habit: You put in the effort now and it just becomes a thing your child will do gladly everyday, like having breakfast.
- Growing Memory: Like any skill the more you repeat it the better you become at it. Instead of struggling to remember the first sequence of notes in a piece, they will move on much quicker to memorising larger more complicated sequences.
- Relationships: I’m sure you are a busy parent but practicing with your child is not just an educational experience. For them it’s so much more than that. It’s their time with you and only you. What better way to bond than over music!
- Ear training: Daily concentrated exposure to music is like daily ear training where your child will learn the relationships between notes and pitches, tone, dynamics and much much more.
- Muscle Memory: Having good posture from the beginning and retaining and working on it every day will save so much time fixing posture later. There will always be minor tweaks to do as the kids grow but if you have the groundwork done from the beginning you’re laughing.
Note: Even with the best of intentions you will have phases when your child doesn’t want to practice. I distinctly remembering wanting to throw my violin out the window as a child. And I distinctly remember my Mam telling me to go ahead and do it. Of course she knew I never would. Not with my ultra cool sticker of a huge pig on it anyway, I loved that thing!
I hope this is helpful and I know every family is different and every child even more so. Try your best and always keep your practice a positive experience.