And Now the Piano is Dusty: Positive Ways to Motivate Kids to Practice

child's hand playing on piano

The thrill is gone. That shiny new trumpet hasn’t been out of its case for almost three weeks now. It is a common phenomenon amongst young musicians. The excitement of producing their very own sound soon fades as daily practice becomes grueling and the student violin continues to shriek and whine.

But coming up with creative ways to encourage kids to keep practicing can be a key to developing their musical skill while building their character. “Regular practicing is a path towards self-discipline that goes way beyond music,” writes Anastasia Tsioulcas for NPR Music. “It’s a skill that has hugely positive ramifications for personal fulfillment and lifetime success.”

So here are some positive tips and tricks to help motivate children to engage in the art of practice and hard work.

Exposure to Live Music
Taking your children to hear live performances is a fantastic way to inspire them. Hearing a real symphony or even just playing while jazz music is performed in the local park are both great ways for kids to remember what they are working towards.

When running through scales for the umpteenth time, it can become easy to grow weary and stuck. But listening to talented professional musicians is a great way to give kids a taste of how all their practicing can pay off one day.

Positive Peer Pressure
Another great method of motivation is enrolling your child in a group of other musicians his or her age. Flutist and mother Barbara Nakazawa suggests putting your student in a chamber music class or youth symphony. Because “band and orchestra are fun and social,” they can help to get kids excited about music as they hear where there own instrument fits in. But “with chamber music, you have to really know your individual part and listen to the other players.”

This provides an extra motivation to practice and prepare for chamber group because the other members are reliant on the child’s part. It is not as easy to hide as in a band. But above all, playing in a group of any kind is just a part of letting kids “find pleasure and magic in music.”

Create Practice Charts and Game
One of the most important parts in your role as the parent of a young musician is remaining positive and encouraging rather than critical. There are fun charts that can help motivate kids by promising a reward of a sweet treat or new toy at the completion of X number of practice hours logged.

There are also ways to get creative by inventing games that revolve around quality practice time. Try developing a board game with different spaces requiring different things to play.

With these tips to motivate your child you look for LA based piano teachers or private Guitar lessons in Chicago and be prepared to keep your child interested after the initial excitement fades. Instead, you can restore the magic of music and encourage your child to continue developing their skills.

Image from www.readingkeyboardmusic.com

Jessica Socheski is a freelance writer and social media fan who loves writing about parenting and family life. Find her on Twitter.

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