I am a music teacher with over 20 years experience, teaching mostly children from age 4 to 18.  I started this blog as I realised many parents were struggling to get their children to practice.  And without practice, not only do students make little progress, but they also don't enjoy their musical journey as it takes too long to accomplish a piece and it's always just that little bit too hard.

I teach predominantly piano but also flute and harp. However this information relates to any instrument and many articles will be helpful for teenage and adult students too!

I would love to hear any feedback so please leave comments.

Practice - How Much Is Enough?

For beginner music students, it’s important they get into the habit of playing their instrument every day.  In an ideal world, the student would come home from school by 3:30pm, have some afternoon tea, and get straight into their homework and music practice.  However, I understand very few schedules look like this.   Therefore, I encourage families to take a look at their schedules and actually timetable in their child’s music practice.  For some families, this may mean 10 minutes before school on somedays, and additional sessions on the weekend if afternoons are heavily booked up with other activities.   Yes, practice can happen on weekends!

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What Motivates Children to Practice?

Motivation.  Think how much we could achieve if we just had the motivation to do it!  If we weren’t too tired, knew where to start, actually felt like doing it today, wouldn’t rather veg on the couch and watch Netflix.  No one is too old to know this feeling and still experience it today.

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How to Get Your Child to Practice

So, you have told your child you expect them to practice their instrument every day after school, or before school, or you’ve made a practice schedule and slotted in all the times they are to practice.  You have bought a beautiful instrument that meets all the teacher’s requirements and have set up a quiet area in the house just for little Johnny to lock himself away and work on becoming the next concert pianist…..yep, you’ve got this practice thing sorted. 

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Set Up For Success

So, we have talked about creating an expectation of daily practice in your home (with flexibility for a day or two off per week which I think is really important to prevent practice becoming a chore that must be done every single day for the rest of your life!!! ARRGGGHHH!!!!)  Now we need to set your child up for success so this can actually happen with the minimum of fuss.

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What To Practise

Your child is practicing 4-5 days a week for a reasonable length of time; however, you get a message from their piano teacher saying they are seeing very little if any progress from little Sarah.  What could be the problem????  It is usually one of the following culprits:

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