Making the most of your music lessons
I've been thinking lately about how you can make the most of your child/ren's music lessons. We only see them once a week so we need to pass the torch on to you to continue their music education at home.
I've compiled a handy list of things that you can do at home to help.
Please pack their music books on lesson day. Your child/ren's music books are a key part of their lesson. Without them, our teachers spend precious lesson time accessing copies of their books and music, and recalling what the set homework tasks were.
Connect with your child/ren's teacher. I encourage you to email your child/ren's teacher to check progress and ask questions. If you don't have your teachers' email address, please let us know and we are happy to connect you. You can also use the homework book as a means of communication.
Practice with your child/ren. If possible sit down with your child/ren for at least one practice each week. Your child/ren will love the company and will feel your support and interest.
Encourage consistency in practice. I recommend 5 x 10 mins+ of practise every week. I know that it is challenging to fit all of their activities in but this will make a huge difference. Your child/ren will progress faster and feel happier to show their skills at the next lesson. Their teacher will be happier and in turn their confidence and interest will increase.
Document your child/ren's practice Practice charts are good for short term projects however can often fall by the wayside. Instead I recommend adding a small box in their school student diaries to notate music practice. For example my son has 3 boxes - Mathletics, Reading, and Music and it works very well as it becomes part of his daily routine. Alternatively you can track practice by adding 5 boxes to the bottom of the list of tasks in their music homework books.
It's OK to not feel like practising. Explaining to your child/ren that it is normal for them not to always feel like practising but it is necessary to become 'clever'. Sometimes I feel that children gravitate towards what is easy and receiving immediate gratification. Musical study is a perfect opportunity for them to learn important life skills such as persistence, discipline, and consistency of work and reward over a prolonged period of time.
Don't expect your child/ren to practice of their own accord. It rarely happens and it doesn't mean they are not interested - you actually need to instigate it - feel free to use bribery, my mother did that and it really worked.
Come and watch your child/ren's lesson. For our APPS students we invite you to come and sit in on one of your child/ren's lessons if you are available.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0431 418 148 to discuss any issues or ask about ways that you can inspire and motivate your child. I have been teaching for over 20 years now and my mother for 40 years. We have learnt many ideas over the years!