If you’re anything like most people, a task won’t get accomplished unless it is in the schedule. Piano is exactly the same. Unless, you set aside time or make music a priority, your child won’t practice. Sure, they love music and the idea of becoming good, but doing it now rather than later is hard.
Decide on a specific time to practice, and make sure it is at least six days a week. Assigning a time to practice reminds your child to practice. Not only that, but it also automatically places practicing piano as a priority. Don’t let anything get in the way of that time. Consistency is what forms habits.
Write it down
Write the reserved time down for everyone to see. This will let them know not to disturb your child or play the television loudly during this time. Their siblings may even remind them if your child forgets it’s time to practice. This also cements the importance of this time in your child’s mind. Having it written makes it more official.
Don’t miss days
Obviously, life happens, but missing days on end of practice leads to students feeling anxious and inadequate in lessons. They haven’t practiced, and they know they won’t do very well. This usually leads to dissatisfaction and eventually giving up learning the instrument all together. Success at home leads to success in lessons which leads to continued growth in your child.
Consistency is key
Horace Mann said, “Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it.” Consistency is key to creating habits. Day after day of hard work will eventually lead to a thick cable that cannot easily break.
It’s better to practice in shorter increments every single day than 30 minutes three times a week. Obviously, the student should try to practice for the full time allotted every day, but life happens. You should already have a routine if you followed the earlier advice, but if you still don’t, find the time to practice every day, even if it is for a short time. Maybe it is for ten minutes before leaving for a dentist appointment. No matter where you can fit it, do it every day. Consistency creates habits. Good habits create musicians.
Read parts one and two here to learn about the power of parents and creating a practice nest.
Annah grew up in Minnesota, but now lives in Rexburg. She is a visual communication major at Brigham Young University - Idaho, and also works at Love Family Piano. She grew up helping her family with her piano playing skills by editing songs her mother had written and writing duets for her clarinet-playing brother so they could play together. While serving in the Utah Salt Lake City West LDS mission, she accompanied a mission choir under the direction of Marshall McDonald, along with accompanying solos and group numbers. Annah has also served as pianist and organist in her local congregation. She loves being able to mix her love for communication and piano. Visit her personal blog and see what else she is up to.