Sunday, June 3, 2012

Music Tip - Summer Practice Ideas

It's summer time and this can be a really great time to catch up on piano practicing or let the whole thing drop with a crash.  I encourage you to use summer as a time to have your child get in some great practice time.  But with vacations and company visiting and just life in general, it can be a real challenge.

How do you keep music a priority?  Make it one of the first things you do each day.  I know, I know, your kids do swimming lessons first thing in the morning.  But is there time to practice first, or do half the practicing before swimming?  How about right after swimming and an energizing snack?

The important thing is to find a consistent time and stick with it.  Right after lunch?  Before their favorite tv show? Dovetail it in with their chores?  Be creative, but be consistent-- if you really want your child to learn and be proficient at playing the piano, consistency is the key.  Otherwise, you might as accept the fact that you're paying for brain tutoring--which is great, but produces no musical skills. 

Be creative and think of some fun ways to plan in practicing this summer. 

**Use popsicle sticks that have the songs to practice or directions for playing them (like play song 4 X).  And of course half the fun of popsicle sticks is that you had to have eaten the popsicles first!

**Make a fun chart to keep track of practicing.
**Have a grab bag with fun cheap rewards that your child can choose from.
**Sit with your child and be a cheerleader--and you're only allowed to give positive comments.
**Keep tv off while the practicing is on.  Siblings read books and do art work.
**Have centers, with practicing being one of the centers.
**Schedule a family recital.
**Skype with grandma and show off new piece learned.
**Video tape child with your camera and show the "before" and "after" piece that is learned.
**Let your child earn privileges for computer time or ipad time or whatever time.
**Take a trip to the music store with your child and buy some easy fun popular piano music

As one of my mothers said to me after reading a handout I had given all my parents, "It sounds like it's up to ME if my child is going to practice and learn to play the piano." YEP.  It's always the mom's job.

Have a fun, productive, musical summer!

Thanks for reading,


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