Practice Tips & Links to other Music Resources


Get the most out of Music Lessons

To assist with your child’s practice time, parents should create a routine and structure that will help your child to begin developing a discipline to practice on their own. Try and choose the same practice time and duration each day.

Music lesson time can often be more exciting and stimulating to children, especially young ones, than individual practice time during the week. Sometimes it is a good idea to create incentives practice time so that students can progress each week and enjoy doing so. Here are a few incentives I encourage my students to use.

Light a Candle: This incentive works especially well for those students who have very busy schedules and can not commit to 30 minutes of practice time every single day. Place a votive candle in a jar near the piano. When practice time begins, have your child; (with your assistance) light the candle. When their practice session is over, they blow the candle out. As soon as the candle is completely burned down, (may take a few weeks), they can reward themselves, (perhaps extra play time, or a small toy, or perhaps their music instructor can have a music “game day” during their next lesson as a reward for good practicing.) This helps so that when the student does sit down at the piano; they are inclined to practice perhaps a bit longer if they have missed a few days in order to burn the candle down!

Create a Practice Chart: Keeping track of student and personal progress is not only a good organizational tool, but also a great motivational tool. Each week, the lesson instructor will provide students will individualized tasks or songs to practice and complete before the next weeks lesson. This is done in order to maintain accomplished skills and learn new ones so that the student may progress each lesson. Here you will find some practice charts that can be personalized for your own use at home. Some students will find this a helpful tool to track their own personal accomplishments and for some it can be a great tool to motivate younger students to practice during the week. Keeping your practice chart in an area that can be easily seen and reviewed is always a good idea whether it be on the refrigerator, on the piano, or in a notebook that is checked daily.

Allow for Mini Recitals: This is a favorite among several of my students and one that many parents enjoy. Pick a time at the end of the practice week to sit down and have your child “perform” their song selections or technique exercises for the week for you. Make this a topic of conversation throughout the week so that your child is excited and committed to practicing as they will be performing their pieces for you and they will want them to be perfect. Children love an audience-especially when it’s their family and friends. This gives them something to work towards and also gives them practice in playing in front of others.

To help with your child’s music learning progress, we would like to recommend the following practice time schedule:

K-2nd grade: 15-20 minutes a day

2nd-5th grade: 20-30 minutes a day

6th grade-: 45 minutes to one hour a day

OPMI Site Music Resources:

A “Practice Chart” is available for printing. It can be marked each day the required tasks are accomplished or practiced. It’s a great way to show the instructor what was worked on and how often it was done.

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