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I get asked this question often, particularly from parents who have no musical background and think they can’t help. The following is an excerpt from Information provided in the Alfred Premier Course.

  • “The most important part of practice is regularity. Provide a regularly scheduled practice period each day. Try not to schedule practice when other important activities are taking place. Practice should be a regular part of the day – like brushing your teeth.

  • Provide an adequately lit place for practice that is free from distractions such as the TV, computer and other family members.

  • Many students are not self-motivated to practice. They may need to be reminded each day.

  • Help the child organize the practice sessions by reading the assignment first to establish what needs to be done. You may need to read directions from the books to young beginners. Encourage the child to follow the written assignment but do not discourage experimenting and improvising.

  • Help the child develop positive approach to practice through encouragement praise for achievement and enthusiasm for music. Maintain a relaxed emotional climate related to practice.

  • When tension occurs and you need to “back off” of the practice routine, help get the practice started and then leave; listen to the end of the practice only; guide the practice only on the first day after the lesson to get things started correctly; sit in on the practice right before the lesson to help your child pull it all together; be an encouraging audience for your child’s practice.

  • If you are not sitting with your child during practice, ask for an occasional demonstration of what he/she has done at the end of the practice session.”

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