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dgraab
dgraab , Parent asks:
Q:

What are some effective ways for encouraging a child to practice her musical instrument?

Our second grader is taking violin lessons once a week. She requested the violin lessons -- we didn't push this activity upon her, and frankly, the private lessons aren't cheap (her school doesn't offer free instrument lessons). She says she enjoys playing violin and doesn't want to stop the lessons, and her teacher says she is naturally talented and learning well, but both he and we (her parents) are having some difficulty getting her to practice outside of the weekly lesson.

The music school director said that we shouldn't push too hard (i.e., use negative consequences or punishment to get her to practice), and that we may need to be patient or wait another year (that she may be too young still to take the lessons and practice seriously enough). However, I think she might progress with the learning more if she were practicing more, and her teacher seems to agree. He thinks more practice would help improve her retention of previous week's lessons and increase her abilities too.

One thing we did to encourage her to practice more was to clear a special spot in our house for her to practice and added a full-length mirror there (like they have at the music school). What else should we try? What are some ways you get your child to practice her musical instrument without nagging or punishing her? Have ideas for making the practice more fun?
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Creative arts
> 60 days ago

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frogdogdog
Feb 24, 2010
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Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
I'm not sure if this is the most positive way of encouraging your daughter to practice but I played violin at a young age and practiced for 30 minutes every other day with an egg timer placed in the room. While that wasn't motivation, it did give me structure and an expectation. This type of practice routine can be shorter at first to get your daughter started.

What did work on the motivation front was having a recital to play at in the future. Making sure I had to perform well and sound good pushed me to practice.

Another way to encourage your daughter is to find a song she likes to play then break the song into small pieces so she will feel like she has accomplished a skill in a relatively quick time period and can build on that until she has completed the entire song.

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