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Our Top 10 tips when it comes to motivating your child to practice their instrument

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Your child is currently learning a new instrument? For parents, this often poses a challenge. Your child should be motivated and stick to their new activity. Nonetheless, small obstacles will present themselves now and then, but there is no need to worry. We have compiled our top 10 tips that will keep your child motivated to practice.

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Practice makes perfect – This also applies when it comes to learning an instrument

1. Choose the right teacher

A good relationship between the teacher and your child builds the foundation for success and determines whether or not your child wants to practice in their spare time as well. If the relationship is good, the motivation is higher. Therefore, your child will work more effectively and will be more likely to practice in their free time if they enjoy spending time with their teacher. This applies especially to younger children who require more encouragement at times.

But how can you tell if the relationship is good? If you are present during the music lessons, you can observe your child with their teacher. If that’s not the case, you should pay attention to your child’s behavior before and after their lessons. If your child looks forward to their lesson and is still in good spirits afterward then you can be assured that your child is challenged in just the right way and that the relationship with the teacher works out.

There is no shame in switching the teacher if you notice that they don’t get along well with each other. However, you shouldn’t repeatedly hire new teachers. But if you notice that your child doesn’t share a connection with their teacher after a certain length of time then you should talk to your child. If your assumptions are correct and your child’s lack of motivation is due to the teacher, then initiate a change.

learning notes children instrument teacher

2. Make sure there are solid learning achievements

Aside from attending a properly organized lesson, your child requires a goal they can work towards. Here, it doesn’t matter if this involves short performances or even concert appearances. Such activities make your child aware of their achievements. Ask the teacher if such events are planned.

In addition, your child should be allowed to suggest their preferred musical pieces. This will make it easier for your child to stay motivated.

3. Be aware that the learning environment plays a crucial role

Most children have mastered the skill of living in the here and now, instead of planning too far into the future. This also applies if a concert is scheduled soon. If your child wants to do something else, you should avoid sentences like “You still have to practice today” or “That wasn’t even 15 minutes of practice”.

Provide a pleasant atmosphere by being in a good mood and expressing patience. If you roll your eyes in annoyance at every mistake your child makes, then this will only discourage them. However, motivating them with encouraging words makes it easier for your child to practice.

For many children, it’s vital to have a set schedule. Some prefer to finish their homework first before continuing with their practice. Others need some free time after homework before they can focus on practice. Be reliable and always be caring when giving your child reminders. It won’t help if you lose your temper as soon as your child complains. Instead, act as a good role model, and your child will follow your example.

music lessons group teacher children

4. Make room for enough free time

You want the best for your child but keep in mind that your child might have a different opinion when it comes to thinking about what’s best for them. Everyone knows those children whose schedules are packed every day. But if your child has too much on their plate already, chances are low they want to add more to it. So, maintain a good balance and incorporate fun and relaxation.

5. Acknowledge small achievements

Usually, it takes a while to produce a beautiful sound or melody. That can be exhausting for everyone but don’t just think about yourself. Your child may have listened to their teacher or a professional play, making it incredibly frustrating once they pick up the instrument themselves but don’t sound like them. When you leave the room and close the door behind you, it will only discourage them even more. Appreciate even small achievements: After all, your child keeps practicing despite feeling frustrated at times. That deserves a little praise.

Of course, every child is different. Some want to practice on their own, and others prefer to practice while you listen or sing along.

6. Where can your child practice?

Some instruments require a certain environment. For instance, the drums are best placed in the basement because they can be practiced without disturbing the neighbors. All other instruments should be practiced in a pleasant environment where your child can play without being distracted. The child requires an assigned place to practice as soon as they share a room with another sibling. This helps to keep the peace since no child wants to be asked to leave their room so the other child can pursue their hobby. Furthermore, you should pick a place with enough space where it’s possible to keep the equipment set up.

music lessons cello teacher children

7. Inspire the joy in music

Music is a holistic experience and should play a comprehensive role in your child’s life. Thus, share your own passion for music with them. Your child isn’t obligated to listen to children’s songs all the time, even if they are of great value and deserve to be an essential part of everyone’s childhood. Nevertheless, you should enable your child to be part of your musical experiences and share your favorite music with them as long as it’s age-appropriate.

Or how about you show your child the music that defined your childhood, or listen to the music your child likes? This way, you can bond with your child and spend quality time together.

8. Live music as motivation

Your child is learning the guitar because they have an idol and want to play like them? Then check if you can go to one of their concerts with your child. Such an experience strengthens your relationship with your child and motivates them due to the unforgettable atmosphere.

9. Making music away from home

Of course, you have to practice alone in the beginning until you produce actual sounds. But upon playing their first tunes, your child should be able to practice with peers. Depending on their instrument, this could be a band, orchestra, or some other arrangement of like-minded people. Do some research in your area or ask your teacher about possible options.

music lessons notes instrument learn teacher

10. Making music at home

Do you or someone else in the family play an instrument as well? That’s perfect. You can play music together, which makes for a great bonding experience. Your child may see that you struggle too and that no one is perfect. Of course, you should not outshine your child but ensure that you play at a similar level. Put your child as the star into the spotlight while you back them. Such activities are incredibly motivating!

11. Bonus – choose the right instrument

Of course, everyone has different tastes in music, but find out which instrument your child likes rather than trying to impose your preference on them. The worst thing you can do is force your child to play an instrument while being taught by a teacher they don’t like. Many will never attempt to make music again after such a bad experience. Instead, give your child the opportunity to try different instruments. In cooperation with Musik Hug, Matchspace Music offers you the possibility to rent instruments at a reduced price. This allows you to experiment with more expensive wind or string instruments without investing a small fortune. It is worth it!

Is there a time to quit?

Do you feel like you’ve done everything in your power? You provided a pleasant place for practicing, played music together, and enabled them to play in a band/orchestra but your child still doesn’t enjoy it? This can be disappointing for parents. But keep in mind that pressure creates resistance. If you push your child, they will shut down. But if you allow them to move on from that chapter for the time being and try something else, the chances increase that their interest will return in the future. Ultimately, they now have a basic musical education which they will benefit from for the rest of their lives. Inform your child that they can always choose to play again without you creating any pressure while making it clear that you would like them to do so sooner or later. Life tends to progress in phases; one phase focuses on musical development and another on physical activity. If you are willing to go along with these phases, you’re only motivating your child further.

Maybe your child wants to try out another instrument. In such cases, we offer a package that includes a few lessons. If you have any questions about our trial subscription, please contact us. We’re happy to help you and your child.


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