“Practice makes perfect” is a phrase that most of us have probably heard at some point in our lives. At the very least, we have been told that in order to improve a skill or talent, the key word is PRACTICE! Music is a great way to develop the discipline of practice. It can influence the way a child progresses in developing other skills as well. Even though this skill is dependent on the individual student, it is important to establish a regular routine to allow development of that particular skill or talent.
Playing a musical instrument or developing the ability to sing requires consistent practice in order to improve. As a music teacher, one of the biggest challenges is to ensure students routinely practice. Introducing practice schedules can be a challenge. The life of a student revolves around school work, extra-curricular activities, social networking and of course they need FAMILY TIME!
Establishing a schedule for practice times gives students the chance to get it done BEFORE the homework starts. Some students find it easier to do in the morning before going to school. Others may even practice after homework is completed every evening! Usually students find it easier if the schedule is divided up into smaller durations of time throughout the day. Practice charts usually work well, especially for younger children, and stickers can be VERY motivational.
There are many ways to encourage students to practice, and goal setting is a great way to ensure they have something to work towards an exam, recital, concert, or even preparing a song for family and friends will help motivate a student.
Parents, teachers and coaches need to find a way to motivate their students in both a fun and productive way, and to always strive to do their very best.
Consistent practice will facilitate the development of a student’s skills and talents, and will establish the foundation for self-discipline – something that we all know is an important life value.
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