5 Ways to Get Your Child to Practice Music

Most families in the U.S.--and in many places around the world have become work at home and learn at home households during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are like our family, you have settled into a new normal to accomplish most (or at least the bare minimum) of the work and school tasks that need doing. Adding an extra wrinkle to the learn at home dilemmas for many families is the need to continue practicing those musical instruments! Some music students have long-established practice habits that may be continuing just like clockwork every evening--but that may not be the case for every student. What if your student is new to learning their instrument? Without face to face contact with a classroom teacher or a private lesson teacher--practice time may be a little more frustrating than it was before. What if your student has played for a long time--but, really only practiced during those forced classroom sessions or lessons? Today, let's take a look at a few ways to get your child to practice music and musical instruments during breaks from school and lessons! 
Student Violin
Photo Credit:  METhompson
We are submitting this post in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I is for instruments!

Plan a Weekly Concert. Have the kids choose pieces to practice and prepare for a weekly concert for grandparents or family via Skype or Zoom. The kids will be more willing to practice if they have a show or performance to prepare--especially as a solo or a group performance with siblings. And--it will give the grandparents or other concert "guests" a much-needed diversion from the hum-drum week too! 

Let The Student Choose Their Music. While it is undoubtedly essential to work on class and lesson assigned pieces and to complete required work for classroom grades--kids will grow bored of these limited pieces of music reasonably quickly. For new musicians, ask their teacher for some site recommendations to print some easy sheet music for them. Older students may enjoy playing more popular music and following a site like YouTube's Easy Violin Lessons or Students will like the challenges of learning something new--and they are, at least, playing something for more than 10 minutes a day!

Look for Extra Games and Challenges for Music Students.  Music games, activities, and challenges are especially useful for new students who may not have the skills to launch into learning their favorite songs. Spend some time looking for online games for your child's instrument and encourage them to incorporate a new one into their practice time every week. Whether you are looking for games for piano students or a violinist or a trombone player, you can find some simple games to keep those skills headed in the right direction. Younger students may like a Bingo card filled with random practice activities (play a song for the dog or memorize Mary Had a Little Lamb) that offers a prize when it's all completed. Your child's teacher may have a bunch of these types of activities available or stashed away from previous years! Shoot the teacher a message or email and ask for some other games or a classroom challenge to make practice time a little more fun!

Pinnable image for ways to get your child to practice music with violin

There is an App for That.  Okay--there is always a smartphone app for what you need. If your student has access to a smartphone or tablet--there is an app for everything from sight-reading to note name practice. Many free apps exist that will hold the kids interest for at least a few practice sessions.

Make Practice Social. Music is a social experience for most music students. They miss their band and orchestra friends or their after school ensembles! Encourage the kids to use the internet and resources like FaceTime or Zoom to get together with a friend (or friends) and practice online--or even set up a virtual private lesson with their teacher if the teacher is up for it. Playing with another musician helps them bring the social side of music back to their isolated world for at least a little while!  

While these tips are sure to help parents during the Corona Virus lockdowns--they will help during those long summer breaks too!  

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