How to encourage your child to keep the momentum during the summer months!
Preparing yourself to try and “figure out” how to maintain practice time in the summer with your child? Here are five tips for maintaining a practice routine when other routines change:
Choose a regular practice time
The practice time that worked best during the school year might not be the best time during the summer. With your child, choose a time that won’t conflict with other summer activities, a time when both of you can focus on practice. It’s also great to consider which days are “full” of activities and which are more laid-back. It’s good to disperse practice time over a few days each week, not attempt to cram it in each and every day with no “down time” from the music.
Early is (or can be) best
Try and schedule practice for early in the day if it’s possible. First thing in the morning, before friends come over, or it’s time to head to the pool-that’s the best. If you save practice for later, it might be forgotten in the busy fun of the day. Use your own discretion and know your child’s peak times of mental performance and base your regularly scheduled practice around that (Are they a night owl or an early bird?).
With vacations, summer camps, and other away-from-home adventures, your child may not be able to access to their instrument every day. When you child’s instrument is readily available, do your best to keep up with the practice routine. If the selected “regular” time doesn’t work one day, try to remember to practice later that day. If you miss a day of practice, get back on it as soon as possible. The longer your child goes without daily practice, the more catch-up time will be necessary later on!
Sign up for some summer lessons
We know that summer can mean travel and being a bit “all over the place” with your family’s schedule. At iSchool, we encourage all students who are home at any point in summer to come in for some lessons to keep their memory up-to-speed. Students that go the whole summer without taking lessons will likely spend the first month or two of the school year reviewing and refreshing their minds of material they have already learned. Don’t waste valuable time like this! Teacher’s can easily track student progress, assign engaging and fun pieces to go over and maintain progress all summer long. Call your local iSchool location and find out when your teacher-of-choice will teaching in during the summer time and schedule some lessons. We are flexible and relaxed in summer with schedules and teaching here at school and we are certain the lessons over summer are more than worthwhile.
Keep it Positive
Even though it is important to keep practicing during the summer, don’t scold or threaten your child into doing it. Practice should be something enjoyable. Invite your child to join you for practice time, keep practice sessions short (15-30 minutes depending on child’s playing level), and use a practice game to keep your child engaged. Other than regular practice time, encourage your child to just have fun at the keyboard with creative musical play, and let them know how excited you are any time they choose to make music.