How to Make Music Practice Time More Productive

from the from the Private Lesson Teachers Resource Index

A private music teacher is a great resource for any child that wants to be successful at playing a musical instrument. Teachers can provide guidance, offering ideas as to how to improve one's playing skills, though the actual improvement is up to the child. This article will provide tips that will help to establish a focused and effective practice schedule that will make the time your child invests rewarding and fun.

Find a Great Teacher

Finding a great teacher can make all the difference. A private teacher will guide and encourage your child in many ways, nurturing their talent and their love for music.

Designing a Practice Schedule

Designing a practice schedule that is right for your child should be your next step as you plan for success. Beginners do not need long practice periods to make progress. For elementary grade children 20 minutes per day is quite sufficient. Beginning trumpet players, for example, would be well served by a short practice period, as their muscles are easily fatigued. Some children may prefer to practice 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there. These short periods may be just what they need to keep things interesting. Practicing every day is ideal, though skipping a day here and there will not hurt anything. It may even help to keep your child fresh and excited about playing.

Set Small Goals

Practice sessions should have small goals. One practice session may be devoted to learning to perform with correct posture, another with learning to breathe correctly before they begin to play. Through internal dialogue your child should remind themselves of their goal, perform the passage of music, and then evaluate their success.

Skip the Easy Parts

Skip the easy parts, find the ones that challenge your child, and work them out. Pieces will be learned in record time.

Practice Slowly

If you drive your car up a lamp post the officer will cite you with a ticket for speeding. You were going too fast to control your vehicle. Children like to race through their music, often making many mistakes, struggling to have the discipline to practice slowly. Children that can master this skill will advance more in their 20 minutes of practice than others will in an hour.