How to make practice fun!
What is practice? Can you define it?
Practice is the repeated performance of an exercise for the purpose of acquiring a skill or proficiency of that exercise!
or… Doing something over and over to be able to do that thing better.
What about a lesson? Can you define that?
A lesson is a period of time where learning is intended to occur involving one or more students being led by an instructor.
Both lessons and practice are incredibly more enjoyable with the addition of fun! For students, parents and teachers all together!
Here are some ideas for you to make your students practice & lesson time more fun.
Keep in mind that not all of the ways to improve practice and lessons are found at the piano bench or in the students practice room!
In fact the best thing that you can do for a students education is at your fingertips. Use You Tube, iTunes or Spotify to introduce your student to what you consider the musical greats. Tell them their names, share the music that you love with them. Let them see, hear and feel the music that has moved you. It will only be natural for them to want to play it after that.
Here is the list we’ve come up with.
variation – have them play songs, exercises….but just a little bit differently
play with their eyes closed
play slow, medium, fast
play soft, loud
make up words to a melody without words
sing along with the melody
family recital(play for the family)
make up a song
timed note reading race(keep track and time)
introduce your child to music you like
explore new music
listen to the top songs on billboard.com and find out whats new that they like
make and keep a list of songs that they know
make and keep a list of music they like!
compliment & show approval when they play
use suggestion instead of command ex. ‘I would love it if you played Fur Elise for me, it makes me so happy to hear you play that song’
only play songs that they like!
make it a game, keep score, points, everyone likes to win
take them to concerts
take them to musicals
watch musical movies(check my blog for the movie list)
discover what songs in video games they like – Super Mario Bros.
Discover what songs in movies they like
sing to your kids(even if you think you aren’t a good singer)
have them listen to a bird whistle and try to figure it out
sugar them up before they practice(with candy)
funny word associations –
bounce and play
dance and play
wiggle head and play
beatbox and play
Play one chord in a pretty arpeggio form!
play an instrument with them
clap your hands along with them
watch them practice – keep them company
help them practice
learn a song with them
do something in the room while they practice(keep them company)
If you are struggling with your student ‘practicing’ at home, don’t panic, be patient. Pick a couple of these ideas to try out(don’t do them all at once) and be positive with them. Listening to music and discovering new music is much more important than practicing scales, exercises and songs that they know.
Because it gives them a target!
I promise you if you are positive and patient with your student and make practice fun for them soon your home will be filled with more music than you ever imagined.