Music Lessons? Keep Your Child Motivated
Now that your child is learning an instrument, how do you motivate her or him to practice each day? Keep if short, keep it creative and make it fun.
Rewards and Incentives
Your practice sessions should be no longer than 10-15 minutes each day and can be even five minutes if you play two or three times that day. The older your child, the longer the sessions can be but for children between the ages of 3-8, 15 minutes is long enough.
If my daughter was excited about playing a game or watching a favorite TV show, I would say ok but let’s play our violins first. She would almost always be eager because she knew it wouldn’t take long and she enjoyed it most of the time. Sometimes I would offer a treat after practice. I would introduce the idea by saying: “Let’s go play our violins and then we can have a chocolate” or an airplane ride (my husband would do that by hoisting her up over his head). Use whatever might entice your child.
Another thing that worked very well was the use of ribbons as awards. After each song or activity we accomplished during a practice session, I would award a ribbon and tie it to the scroll of the violin. I simply bought ribbons at the grocery store that are used for wrapping gifts. She would get to display those ribbons all week and then we would get different colors the next week. I used a sticker chart too and would give her stickers for accomplishing a song or activity that were one of our goals for the week. We would have a sticker chart displayed near our music practice area where everyone could see it. You could add another layer of reward in conjunction with the stickers. For example, for every five stickers earned, your child gets another reward like a ribbon, a special activity or a privilege. Another idea is to have a special crown or hat that your child gets to wear at dinner time when the five stickers are earned.Continued on the next page