Parents: getting your child to practice
Parents, I realized over the break that I have yet to fully include you in this process of music making, you are an important part of the process.
This is the time of the year when a student's practice habits become very noticeable. We are starting a new initiative where students keep track of the days in which they practice. A practice chart is posted in the band room to help students keep each other accountable as a band is only as good as their weakest player, which means that each student is responsible for doing his/her part to be the best that they can be and as a result the whole band improves.
The recommended minimum amount of practicing for students is 15 minutes, 5 days a week. The best way to practice is to start with deep measured breaths, then a warm up, and then to work through all of the songs we did in class playing difficult material slowly and in small chunks. Students should be practicing 80% of the time with the metronome or a backing track which you can access below.
For most kids, the desire to practice must be extrinsic before it becomes intrinsic. This is where you as a parent play a very important role. Here are some ways in which you can help your child succeed:
Sit with them while they practice. Make it a family activity or have them perform for you afterwards.
Check in with them and ask what time they will be practicing each day, helping them set up a consistent schedule. Practicing must become routine.
Make sure that there is a positive home environment during practice time.
Vaisakhi Performance and Nights of Music Concerts are coming up! Students will need to work hard to do well and keep up with the best in the band, encourage them to work towards that goal.
If the noise is too loud, encourage them to practice outside or as an alarm clock for everyone in the morning before school. (this works very well)
Get to the source of why your child is not practicing. Not practicing may be the symptom of a different problem. Attack that problem.
Get them a private teacher. (Students are more likely to practice when they have private lessons because they cannot hide behind the rest of the band and they also improve at a faster rate)