Practice Tips

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Students who play musical instruments must practice every day. If they are too sick to eat, they do not have to practice. Parents are required to sign practice sheets located on the last page of the lesson book. Please indicate the amount of practice time for each day and sign it the day before your child's lesson. Try to find some part of the day that does not conflict with other activities (a half hour before supper seems to work best). This time is for playing music and nothing else! Make sure students work on the things that are giving them the most trouble! Playing songs they know over and over is not a good idea. Make sure your child has a music stand and is sitting properly. Playing with the CD that goes with the book gives astonishing results! PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY THE MUSIC EDUCATORS NATIONAL CONFERENCE AS LISTED BELOW:
Practice Tips for Elementary-School Kids

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Learning a musical instrument is a family affair! Your child needs your guidance and encouragement. Here are some specific tips on how to create a lasting relationship between your child and his instrument of choice.

  • Help your child set up a special place at home to play the instrument.
  • Establish a time each day to play. Some children are at their best in the morning, before school. Some parents set a time after the evening bath when the child is relaxed, but not tired.
  • Consider using the phrase "playing time" rather than "practice time."
  • If possible, be a positive part of your child's playing time. Sit with your child while he plays and ask, "Show me what you're learning." Or, consider learning to play the instrument with your child.
  • Praise your child for each step forward.
  • Never make negative remarks about how your child's playing sounds. It takes time and effort to produce musical sounds.
  • Encourage other family members to applaud the child's efforts. Positive attention is a great motivator.
  • Remember that there are always peaks and valleys in the learning process. You and your child should expect times of discouragement, accept them, and focus on the positive fact that she's learning to make music. Remind her that everything worth doing takes time and effort.
  • Provide positive role models. Bring your child to hear amateur or professional musicians perform. Take your child to movies that show musicians in a positive light, such as "Music of the Heart."
  • When seeking private lessons, find a qualified teacher you can talk to easily. Ask about the teacher's philosophy of education, and ask to talk to some of the teacher's current students or their parents. Make sure your child is comfortable with the teacher.