Friday, January 4, 2013

ABC's of Music Practice

ABC's of Music Practice photo
26 Ideas to help practicing at home!

Happy New Year!  

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

I am looking forward to a new year of blogging with more fun and creative music ideas.

A lot of parents have been asking me how to get their child to practice their instruments at home.  It is important to have the right expectations especially when dealing with children in the 3-8 year old range.  At this age we need to keep music fun and interesting in order for their love of music to grow and grow.

So to help with music at home, I have come up with 

ABC’s of Music Practice

Appreciate all efforts to sing and play
Believe everyone has some musical ability
Consistency-practice everyday!
Delight in accomplishments – no matter how small
Enjoy yourself and music
Find favorite songs and artists, listen to them and copy what you hear and like
Get the new assignments from your teacher
Have a set practice check list:  Posture, warm-ups, old songs, new songs, and listen everyday
Ignore the moaning-children will moan but don’t listen to it and keep going
Juggling too many after school activities will slow down progress
Kick start your day by practicing before breakfast!
Listen to good examples on CD’s, YouTube and live concerts
Muscles- build music muscles by playing and singing scales, arpeggios and chords
No quitting!  All desirable goals take time and hard work!
Orchestra and opera- listen and dream about playing in the orchestra and singing in an opera
Posture- are you sitting correctly at the piano, holding your violin correctly, 
standing tall for singing?
Qualify for a prize – fill out your practice charts and get a prize!
Relax –don’t hold tension in your shoulders, back or knees
Share your gift of music with others – play at recitals, for the family and at nursing homes
Time – play or sing each song at least 3 times before moving on to the next song.  Practice time for 3-6 year olds will only be 5-15 minutes per instrument.  Older 
children will be able to play longer.
Unite with other musicians- play in recitals and group classes
View lessons – as parents it is important to watch your child’s lessons, at least once 
in a while, so that you can help them at home
Warm-ups are important exercises to build strength in muscles
eXpect mood swings, waning interest, tired days from your children and lighten 
the load for the day but don’t quit!  Good days are just around the corner
You and your children can do it!
Zero in on strengths and weaknesses-Point out where your child is great (good rhythm, good listening skills)!  Some songs require extra practice before they are mastered so just gently encourage playing it one more time!




  1. Your ABC list is so creative! I esspecially love the one about practicing before breakfast!

  2. Very helpful! People don't realize many of these things and it can lead to frustration on the part of parent and child. Thank you for your excellent suggestions!

    1. Thanks for reading, Carolyn! It's important that the parent and music teacher are on the same page too! And this list helps me communicate my expectations to my student's parents.