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Tips & hints

Practice is far more important than musical ability when it comes to your child’s musical success. You can help and encourage them to make the best of their talent. Here are a few of our tips.

Help them get organised

  • Make sure your child takes their instrument to school for their lesson on the right day each week
  • If the lessons are on a rota, ask your child if they know what time they need to be there
  • Complete any practice record sheets that are given to you by your child’s teacher

Get a routine going

  • Try to have a time set aside them to practise each day, and try to spend some of this time with them when you can.
  • Daily practice, even for a short time, is better than one long session just before a lesson. Ten minutes may be enough for a young child. Their teacher will be able to give you guidance.

Encourage them

  • Listen to their practice as often as you can, asking them questions about what they’re doing and the pieces they’re playing
  • Ask what they did in their lesson and what they’re expected to achieve by the next lesson. This helps them remember and reinforce new concepts and new material.
  • Many instruments sound far from beautiful when played by a beginner. Children need all the praise and encouragement that you can give them. Make your child feel that you are enjoying their music, and be tactful about any imperfections. Don’t expect too much in the early stages.

Have fun

  • Try to make practice fun and stop when your child loses interest
  • ‘Doing your practice’ probably won’t sound much fun, so talk about playing instead. They’ll find it more encouraging and appealing

Help them be creative

  • Ask your child to make up some music off the top of their head using some of the notes that they know. They might have done this in a lesson, but maybe feel less nervous about trying it at home. It will help them to be creative, and help them worry less about playing wrong notes.

And remember, it’s about having some fun and getting involved.

Good Luck! (with thanks to Durham County Music Service)