IN A NUTSHELL
●Check hand position and posture before practicing a piece and practice short sections first before tackling from start to finish.
●Make sure there are no distractions in the room.
●Aim to play a piece from start to finish at the end of each week.
●Encourage to give a performance to the family or visitors.
●Try and set aside the same time each day to practice to encourage routine - such as when the evening meal is being cooked or before time on the computer or watching television. These can be a reward for practicing.
●Spend some of the practice sessions with your child so that they know you're interested in their learning, get them to show you what to do and have a go yourself! Give them time to practice independently too.
●Use lots of praise, encouragement, positive words and rewards.
Your tutor understands that you may be busy with work, school, clubs, homework etc. So, as a guide to practice - aim for:
40 minutes per week (x4 10 minute sessions per week)
60 minutes per week (x6 10 minute sessions per week)
60 minutes per week (x4 15 minute sessions per week)
60 minutes per week (x3 20 minute sessions per week)
90 minutes per week (x5 30 minute sessions per week)
120 minutes per week (x4 30 minute session per week)
120 minutes per week (x6 20 minute sessions per week)
KS1/BEGINNERS - 40 minutes per week
KS2/KS3/ADULTS - 60 minutes per week
Then increase to 90 minutes and ideally 2 hours as you become more advanced or embark on grades.
TOP TEN PRACTICE TIPS
PRACTICE EVERY DAY
Help your long-term memory and improve your learning curve.
HAVE SPECIFIC GOALS
Create a specific, attainable goals before you practice.
BEGIN WITH THE BASICS
Go over technique first. Always have a warm-up plan!
FOCUS ON THE TOUGH STUFF
Focus on what you cannot play. Turn fear into confidence.
WRITE IT DOWN
Make the most out of your practice log. See your goals and accomplishments.
SLOW IT DOWN
Muscle memory - Never make mistakes - Learn it right the first time.
BREAK IT DOWN
Identify musical sections. Don't always start at the beginning. Help memorization.
USE A METRONOME
Always work on improving your time. Don't stretch time for the tought stuff.
PRACTICE AWAY FROM YOUR INSTRUMENT
Visualise yourself playing successfully. Hear the music in your mind.
ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE
Use positive language in the practice room. Focus on solutions, not problems.
SUPPORTING PRACTICE AT HOME
Should my child practice every day and if so, how long?
To learn the and instrument you need patience, dedication and commitment. Enduring, regular practice leads to success. Some short practice periods are usually more successful for children than a long practice session. Beginners usually start with 10 minutes a day, up to 30 minutes at the end of the first year. In the following years, the student can practice between 45 and 60 minutes, depending on the concentration and motivation. However, this is only for general orientation and can differ greatly in individual cases.
Set a time in your child's daily routine during which they can practice undisturbed. As a result, it is firmly integrated into everyday life, when is time to practice and you save unnecessary discussions. There will always be days when your child does not feel like playing. But if your discomfort lasts longer, talk to your child, or preferably the music teacher.
How can I practice with my child?
The parental work - especially the sympathetically supporting accompaniment in domestic practice - is important for the learning success, especially in the initial lessons.
If you do not play the instrument:
●Read the "Homework Plans" in the Music Diary
●Take a look at the accompanying websites & remind your child of the top 10 practice tips!
●Listen together to the "listening examples" on the homepage.
Playfully challenge knowledge.
●Always have an open ear when your child wants to play you something.
●Ask your child curiously, if he/she could also give you lessons.
●Sing along with your child.
●Pay attention to sitting position, hand and finger position with the child.
When you play the instrument:
●Integrate the above points.
●Play the pieces and stimulate the imagination of the child.
●Work together in the "theory book".
●Support your child with improvisation and composition tasks.
●Train all listening tasks together.
If your child plays on a digital piano:
●Choose sounds that reflect the mood of each piece.
●Pick up the pieces and let your child listen well. Educate the child for critical listening and askthe following questions: Do you like the play the way you played it? If not, what do not youlike so much? Did you play all the notes correctly? Have you noticed all volume differences? Choose an appropriate accompaniment rhythm for the child to play in time.
●If your child plays an acoustic piano (have it tuned yearly) - experiment with the sound - try using the pedals or opening the lid to alter the mood of a piece!
How can I motivate my child?
●Show interest in the music and instrument playing of your child.
●Take your child to concerts, the opera, etc. and hear a lot of music of different styles at home.
Ask your child to give a 'mini concert' to the family!
●Encourage your child to sing, improvise, compose and play by ear, as well as to read books or search websites about music, music theory, composers and music history.
●Encourage your child to study the possibilities of playing the piano/guitar.
A level of commitment to music practice or a more positive phrase 'Music Making Time' between lessons is required in order to progress. A regular routine with support is key. Your ‘practice record/diary’ will tell you what to focus on. Practice doesn’t necessary mean playing a piece through a few times from start to finish but breaking music down and working on targeted sections with repetition.