Practice can be daunting for all of us…
…even us professionals!
We are very aware that some children just don’t know where to start with their practice. It can be difficult even just making a move to set up your instrument never mind starting the practice session.
So we want to suggest helping your child by setting up for them.
My mum used to set up my cello for me; she would unpack the cello, get the chair in place, tighten the bow, set up the music stand, open the music books and get the cello stop positioned, and it really helped spur me on to start practising.
I know at first glance this might seem a bit indulgent, but I was only six at the time and what would take my mum 2 minutes to do would have taken me 5 – 10 mins of faffing and made practice time more of a drag. Once you’re more grown up, you learn how to do these things fast but we can help our little ones by expediting this process for them.
It might mean opening the piano lid for your child and turning to the music they’re working on. Or getting them a glass of water and clearing space in the room they play in.
Giving your child a friendly nudge in the right direction can really help eliminate some of the daunting feelings they might have when starting to practise.
It’s also helpful to remind your child how to structure their practice. It might seem really obvious to us but your child might need reminding.
- Start with scales/exercises/warm-ups
- Work on small sections within pieces, maybe just a bar or two
- Work on linking sections
- Move on to play the whole piece
If you’re not sure your child is making the most of their practice sessions then have a chat with their tutor and see if they have any suggestions on what they should focus on.