Over the years, we have found that kids who don’t like to practice tend to share very similar reasons. As parents and teachers we need to understand these reasons and find ways to help these children overcome them. In this post, we will focus on the 5 most popular reasons for not wanting to practice.
- It’s hard! Yes! It requires discipline for the child to remove him/herself from all the distractions surrounding them and focus. Practice is about working note by note, page by page until it becomes real music.
- Too busy! This explains itself. The lives of our kids are packed with activities… both physical and virtual and finding a quiet time to practice isn’t an easy task.
- It’s not fun! Some parents might say, what? Music is supposed to be fun! How can this not be fun! Well, don’t confuse playing music with practicing music. A good analogy is that playing a basketball game is fun, but working on footwork, dribbling the ball and shooting from the free throw line over and over again isn’t.
- It’s a lonely experience. One of the loneliest experiences that your child will ever have to face is being sent off to practice on his/her own. Unlike sports, most of the practice involves other kids and includes some type of social engagement as well. Not so with the practice of music and can be described as a solitary meditation involving only the child, the instrument and the music notes.
- Not rewarding. We all want to be rewarded at the end of any endeavor. The reward for studying hard for a test is a good score. The reward for playing a video game is the satisfaction of winning. But what’s the reward at the end of a long week of hard music practice? You are done with that piece! Let’s move on to the next song and start the whole process all over again.
So, now that we have a better understanding of the reasons why our kids aren’t in love with practice, we need to find ways to change it. This will be the focus of our next blog. Be sure to log on next Friday as we discuss ways to help your child practice and turn this into a more enjoyable and rewarding process.