Practise. This is a word that can easily put fear into the hearts of children and parents alike, and we find this happens most often when the sense of fun and purpose has gone. We’re often asked ‘how do I motivate my child to practise?’ and the truth is that practise is a huge concept, it’s a learning process for both the child and the parent. So here are 5 violin practise tips to help guide parents and motivate your child!
1. Choose the right time of day
When we discuss practise techniques with parents we always emphasise that children focus best when they practise at regular times each day, for example before or after school. Trying to motivate children to practise when they are exhausted nearly always end in disaster!
2. Small steps
Set yourself small goals to work towards, for example just play for 5 or 10 minutes each day so that they don’t feel overwhelmed, and then very gradually build this up. Of course with older children you can start with bigger chunks of time, and setting a clock or a timer for practise can work well for children.
3. Set goals
Whether it’s a scale, study, piece or mastering a new technique having a goal will be hugely beneficial, and provide much needed structure. But make sure you set a realistic goal from them each day, trying to do too much will simply backfire!
4. Follow the beat
If you haven’t already got a metronome this is a must have device! Have a look at our previous post ‘how to use a metronome‘ for advice if this is new to you. This brilliant device will provide a rhythmic structure to lessons but can also make practise lots of fun if you introduce clapping games and slower/faster tempos by adjusting your metronome.
5. Reward success
This is a pretty essential part of motivating children, and it can range from sticker charts to earning points towards playing a duet or favourite popular piece in lessons, the list is endless! We must say that rewards are particularly effective for very young children, and of course ultimately you would like your child to practise without any incentive at all!
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