Tips to Keep Your Kid Motivated!
Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays are officially over, families all over Canada are getting back into their regular routine.
This is easier said than done. Mothers face a lot of challenges when it comes to the New Year. Not only do you have to return to work, but you have to inspire the rest of your family to do the same! You may be surprised that school isn’t your biggest obstacle!
Between big family dinners and holiday parties, your kids haven’t had the time to practice their instrument as much as they usually do. Once they’ve broken the habit, getting them back at it can be difficult — but not impossible! You can motivate them to return to their instrument with enthusiasm by following these 3 key tips (pun intended).
1. Quality vs Quantity
We’re all guilty of making one major mistake when it comes to practicing music. We tend to put too much emphasis on the time we spend behind the ivories or fret without considering the quality of the time spent.
A common recommendation given by music teachers is that they should practice for 30 minutes each day. Unfortunately, this can very easily result in your child watching the clock as they play.
It’s like when you have 30 minutes left in a work day. You’re counting down until you can clock out and go home. It’s the same for your kid, except they’re waiting until they can stop practicing and start playing. Their instrument has become something they need to endure before they can do something fun.
Make it Fun!
Take time out of the equation and start giving them task-related goals. If they’re just beginning this may be memorizing a few scales, or it could be learning the first several measures of a simple song without making mistakes.
Admittedly, this will take more time and effort on your part, but the results are worth it. Eventually, they’ll realize the part they play in their own learning. How much effort they put into it will impact how quickly they pick things up, and they can feel a sense of pride in what they’ve accomplished.
2. In for a Penny
Do you still have a jar of pennies stashed away? Don’t roll them up for the bank just yet; you can use them to keep your kid on track with the penny game. Many young musicians lose interest when they have to play through a song without any direction. Some parents have started to use their pennies as a way to inspire them.
Set aside three pennies at the start of their practice. They get a penny when they play a difficult measure correctly once, a second penny for a second play-through, and a third when they manage it for a third time.
The catch is, if they miss a note at any time, they lose all of their pennies and start from the beginning again. The goal is to keep all the pennies as they move through the song, measure by measure. If you don’t have any pennies lying around, don’t worry. You can make a craft day out of painting dried beans in bright and sparkly colours, and use these as your currency. Whatever you end up using, it’s an easy way to make practicing into a challenging game.
3. Mix it Up
Sometimes a routine fails because it’s too monotonous for your kid. Do you think they’re getting practice fatigue because it’s always the same thing over and over? Consider mixing it up in interesting ways.
If you always practice in the evening after school, try to fit it into your morning routine. Sometimes you can barely get the kids out the door on time, this is obviously not for you. You can try getting them new sheet music or a cool accessory from a music instrument store in Canada in order to inject some relevant novelty into their practice. Most Canadian music stores, including online music stores, will have a variety of small items that can make a big difference.
These three tips are simple yet effective ways to get your child back to their musical instrument. Whether you use one or a combination of these strategies, remember your number one role as their parent is a cheerleader.
Support them by being there. Ask them questions about their lessons and give them praise when they’ve put in the time in the New Year. Eventually, they’ll get back into the routine of practicing!
How do you keep your child motivated?
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.