Getting Your Child to Practice Guitar
When it comes to guitar lessons, there is no shortage of parents who are frustrated about their child’s practice habits. Sometimes getting your child to practice the guitar can be a tall order and the question ‘Have you practiced for your guitar lesson?’ is usually answered with a ‘No’. Motivating kids to practice the guitar shouldn’t be too much effort but it does take a proactive parent to assist in the musical development of a child.
Practicing the guitar can and should be a rewarding experience for young guitar students and there is certainly a point when the development should lead to the student practicing for his or her own enjoyment. Here are a few tips to help your child enjoy practicing.
Praise: Don’t forget to reward your young student with praise. Every child wants to feel like his efforts are being appreciated. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. Instead of berating a child for not practicing, find something in the practice that deserves praise. If you hear a nice melody or correct rhythm, let them know that is sounds great. Let them know that you enjoy hearing the song or piece being played in its entirety.
Listen: If you can take the time to sit and listen to them play the piece on a regular basis, the child will have motivation to make improvements. This can take some patience, especially at the beginning of their guitar lessons but giving your full attention to your young guitar student will provide added enthusiasm. Inspire your child with your positive support!
Family recognition: Using a progress chart can be useful. A simple piece of paper marked with song names and stickers can be placed on the fridge or any other place in the house where it will be highly visible. Mark X’s after each time the song is played to show how often they are working on the piece. Maybe a treat or reward of some nature can be given upon completion of preset goals.
Teacher: Be sure to communicate with the private guitar teacher on a regular basis regarding both the lesson content and the child’s practice material. It helps to be familiar with the music and your child will be aware of your attentiveness.
Performance: Guitar recitals can be a great way to motivate students, but holding mini concerts in your home on a more frequent basis can help as well. Gather a few family members once a week to hear the latest piece and to share in the progress of the music lessons.
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