Here are several articles to help you with your child's practice.

For the last couple weeks, I noticed that one of my students was suddenly showing remarkable improvement in her pieces. I complimented her in front of her mother, who said, 'Well, we saw Yvonne's Practicing 101 tips in the last newsletter and really took it to heart!'

Another student's family, after reading in the progress report I wrote that her weakest area was practicing at home, stepped up their home practice routine, which resulted in improvement by leaps and bounds! Even though piano does not seem to come easily to this student, she is feeling encouraged by the discovery of what she can do when she really puts her mind to it!"

See other articles that will help you care for and inspire your kids.

--by Mrs. Beth Smith

by Janice Morris, Music Place Director

After more than 40 years of teaching music...

...and training teachers, here are my favorite tips, suggestions and reminders about practicing:

Weekly "concerts" help develop a family culture of honor: 

Set up a weekly 5-minute concert where the whole family becomes the audience who cheers for the child who performs their work for the week. (Ice cream following this is a plus!)  Janice fondly remembers the trips to her favorite sweet shoppe (for a caramel sundae) that followed every concert or performance.

Determine a miniumum length of study in advance: 

by Mrs. Yvonne Reddy

Learning an instrument is different from dance and sports, in that there is often no additional work required after a child has had their dance class or finished their soccer practice or played their football game.

To learn an instrument your child must practice on their own after their lesson. It is important to remember when signing your child up for music lessons that in order to become proficient at their instrument of choice, they will need at least 2 hours of practice time per week, spread over several days to . Advanced students require even more practice time.

What happens when students don't practice? Here's a short list of the most obvious outcomes:

In an interview with Mrs. "A.", mother of three successful Music Place students, Resource Specialist Beth Smith gleans the following practice tips that have worked for her kids--

Make practice time a habit: every day, same time
Recommends morning before school – that way they don't have to do it after school when they are tired
Make task part of chore list and connected to their weekly allowance
Have older kids help younger kids (offer an incentive which pays off right away)
Keep expectations reasonable and age and level appropriate (such as “play each assignment 4 times”);


by Beth Smith

Have you ever struggled with establishing a consistent music practice routine at home? Many parents express feelings of guilt to me every week because they know their child could/should practice more, but they just can't seem to find the time or energy to remind them consistently-- much less, follow through and make sure it gets done!

Well, I just finished a book called How To Behave So Your Children Will Too (yes, I enjoy reading parenting books in my spare time, even though I don't have any kids yet, ha ha). When I came to the chapter on how to use charts and contracts to motivate kids, I thought, "Hey, this would be a great tool for parents of music students!" Using charts for younger kids, or contracts for older kids, parents can clearly communicate expectations and visually track success in a positive way.