It’s likely that nowhere in the world does there exist a child who loves to practise. It’s just not how they are made. As adults, we can understand the reasoning behind the philosophy and appreciate the resulting improvement, but for kids it is a necessary evil… a drag.
So while we want them to learn to appreciate it, it doesn’t mean we can’t occasionally throw some fun in there for them as well. Chances are they won’t even realising they are practising!
If you find your child’s interest is waning or you’re just tired of the battle, give some of the following ideas a go:
- Have them pick one of their pieces and turn all of the notes into twins. i.e. play every note twice.
- Roll dice to determine what bars of their piece to play. If they are playing pieces more than a couple of lines long, also add the value of the dice. For example, if they roll a 3 and a 6, they should play bars 3, 6 and 9. Keep playing just these bars until they can play them from memory.
- Get into rockstar mode… stand up to play and have them strike their best rockstar pose.
- Have an adult conduct them at varying speeds. If the adult waves their baton (whatever you can find in your kitchen, or even a piece of paper rolled up) fast, the child should play fast. Slow down the conducting and the playing should slow down as well.
- Play only the first note in each bar. Write out this new melody.
- Have the child make a paper aeroplane and throw/fly it towards the piano. Wherever the plane lands is the octave in which they should start playing their piece. If they miss the keyboard, they have to play the piece normally… three times!
Adding some fun and variety into some of their practise sessions will hopefully keep practise fresh for your child (and less stressful for you). Plus, a less mundane practise is much more likely to be effective and beneficial. See what other ideas you can come up with 🙂
If you are considering music lessons for your child or for yourself, please contact me to discuss the options. Piano lessons are conducted at my studio in Wallsend, NSW.