The excitement of a new adventure is enough to provide an ample supply of positive motivation for the first several weeks of the instrumental music experience. Once the initial enthusiasm wears off, it is important to immediately develop wholesome practice habits which will guarantee a successful and personally gratifying process for your child. Your support and guidance will be the key factors in establishing the practice schedule insuring the attainment of musical goals.
For our first year elementary players, we like to see three days per week of home music practice - even if just a few minutes. The first year is "exploratory" and our goal is to instill a love for music. We encourage students to play at home for their parents. Practice is encouraged but not heavily stressed.
The most effective home rehearsal program for the second year elementary players is based on a fifteen minute session four to five times per week dedicated to quality practice. It is suggested that you and your young musician mutually agree on a practice time, and a special area of your home designated for their area of musical study. A final one or two minute recital is always effective in building performance responsibilities.
Every instrumentalist enjoys the opportunity to display their talents. You might even ask for a paragraph of what new progress was made during the practice. A special calendar can also serve as a reminder as well as a reward poster for the commitment needed to accomplish the assigned material. Remember, positive reinforcement is the most effective communication you can share in this important quest.
As students mature, it is vital to develop a discipline which makes home music practice a natural part of the day. Although many new concepts are taught during instrumental music rehearsals, the limited time does not afford the personal attention which is vital in developing the technical facility required for the upcoming years of musical exploration. The cooperative efforts of the instrumental music director, the student musicians and the willing parent/s constitute the proven recipe for success.
Let your kids explore music.