Playing a Musical Instrument is Mastered at Home.
The purpose of the music lesson is to provide guidance and support for the time devoted to playing the instrument at home. As a parent, you are an important part of this process.
Your Child Will Need Your Help
Most children will not practice without being reminded, and up until about age 11 your child will need hands-on help with home practice. Don't worry - even if you don't play an instrument or read music there is much you can do to help!
Your help can take the form of reading lesson notes, organizing practice time wisely, and providing encouragement.
Just being nearby, even doing something else in the room while listening and encouraging them once or twice as they practice, can make a big difference. Do not criticize. Find something good to say. If you feel they need help, tell them how much you appreciate how hard they are working and then suggest that you read together the “Beginner Practice Routine” below and on the back of the practice plan and see if perhaps your child has missed a step. Do this gently and lovingly. Your help at home will make a substantial diﬀerence in your child’s progress.
Learning the piano is rewarding and fun, but also can be challenging. If your child is arguing or getting frustrated, it’s time to take a break and come back to it later or maybe the next day. Let your teacher know if this happens often so that they can reevaluate the assignments they are giving. We strive to pace the lessons so that your child is successful.
How much time at home should my child devote to playing their instrument?
Without regular practice, your child's fingers won’t do what their brain tells them to do quick enough to play the instrument successfully, even if they understand what to do. Playing an instrument requires muscle development and “muscle memory” which only comes from playing scales, exercises, and songs correctly multiple times every day.
The more time your child spends at home practicing and learning to read music, the faster they will make progress.
Ideal: 30 minutes every day for beginners. Time each day will increase as difficulty of music increases.
Acceptable: 30 minutes each day for 5 days per week. Time each day will increase as difficulty of music increases.
Minimal: 30 minutes each day for 3 days per week (progress will be very slow)
The time may be split into more than one practice session each day. More practice days per week is better than more time on a few days.
How should my child utilize their practice time?
This is a good daily routine to follow:
1. Warmup: Scales and Finger Exercises
2. Play a song from the repertoire they have already mastered.
3. Work on new songs.
4. Play a a song from the repertoire they have already mastered.
5. Do their written work or a note learning app
6. Fill in the box on the “Practice Streak” chart.
Practice Awards: At the end of each month, we count all the days in the month that are filled in on the Practice Streak chart and record it on a chart on the wall of our studio. Students who practice 20 days or more in the month get a star on their chart. There is a trophy waiting at the May recital for any student who practices every single day of the school year, and other rewards for those who practice consistently but less frequently.
HOW the student practices makes a huge difference. Some people say “practice makes perfect.” But it is more accurate to say “practice makes permanent.” If a student practices incorrectly all week, it is extremely difficult to fix the errors in that particular song because of the muscle memory developed in the fingers. Following the steps for effective practice on the back of the Weekly Practice Plan will help alleviate this problem.
Complete the Weekly Practice Plan before your next lesson. Schedule practice time at the same time every day. This helps to develop a consistent practice routine. This time can include the time spent on the writing assignments. Be sure your child completes the assigned written work--it will help them get better at reading music which will make playing easier and more fun.
If You Miss a Lesson
We learn a lot every week, so try not to miss any lessons. If your child must miss a lesson due to illness or an emergency, consider an online lesson via Zoom – simply let me know by text to 541-583-0123. If they must miss the lesson completely, please cancel your attendance online (visit www.music4kids.com/parent-hub for instructions). This is the only way to obtain a make-up credit. Make-ups are available one Saturday each month (see our calendar). Visit www.music4kids.com/parent-hub for instructions on scheduling a makeup lesson.
We have been attending Kindermusik with Miss Deb for over 2 years now, and my girls love the classes and Miss Deb. She is wonderful with all of the kids, and so patient! Music is really important to me, and through Kindermusik, my daughters are discovering their love of everything music related. I can't say enough good things about this program!
Signing my children up for classes at Music 4 Kids has been one of the best parenting decisions I’ve ever made. Miss Deb creates an inviting space in which everyone can have fun, play, and learn. The space is baby-proof, classes are family friendly, and Miss Deb’s patient, playful nature is the icing on the cake. We love music classes at Music 4 Kids!
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