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Practice Tips for Parents:
Making a Difference to Your Child's Music Lesson without any Musical Training!

1. Be Interested

The single best thing parents can do to help their child practice is to be genuinely interested in whatís going on with their music lessons.

2. Encourage

The logic is that if the parent catches their child doing something right, and then praises them for it, the child is likely to want to repeat that behavior in the future.

3. Reflect

The student should be able to explain exactly to the parent what their tasks are for the week, together with the practice techniques that were recommended to complete them.

4. Steer

Parents canít actually do the practice for them, but they can help the child work out how many practice sessions will happen, when they will take place, and how long will be available for each one.

5. Enthuse

While praise can be useful for reinforcing what a student is already doing, being enthusiastic can help motivate students to be excited about things they havenít even started yetóaffecting practice sessions that may not take place for months, or even years.

6. Progress Checks

One of the best ways to assess short-term progress is with a couple of well-spaced midweek checkpoints, and the parent is the perfect audience for the student to show off their work to.

7. Knowing When Not to Help

Sometimes the best help is not to help at all. Some students work best when they are given room to move, and will actively resent parents leaping in with solutions for every practice problem they face. But no matter how independent the practicing becomes, parents continue to set the enthusiasm levels with their own attitudes towards what is happening in music lessons. It can be as simple as eye-contact and a small nod at the end of an obviously good lesson. Parents donít need to compose a sonnet for their kids to know that they are proud. And they donít have to be sitting on the piano stool with their kids for every second of practice for the child to feel thoroughly supported, and to feel that the excitement surrounding their progress in lessons is being shared.


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