This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.
My boys love all the extra free time they’ve had lately. They’re enjoying more time relaxing, more time playing video games with their friends, and more time outdoors. One thing they weren’t wanting to do that much of though since schools closed in March? Practicing their instruments. My boys are both in band, which they enjoy, and my oldest especially loves playing music (and has done so for almost 5 years) but it was hard to keep them motivated to practice when they don’t have concerts they’ll be performing at or new skills they are trying to master and show their class.
I get it. As an adult I’m finding it hard to keep motivated to get work done as well! So here are some of the things I’ve tried doing to help my kids keep practicing their instruments even when they’d rather be playing Fortnite…
Make it social. Their school has Zoom calls so the kids can practice together which is great and they love seeing their classmates. If your child’s school doesn’t do that your child can always get together virtually with a few of their friends to practice. It’s a lot more fun that way and they get the socialization they are craving now that they aren’t seeing their peers on a daily basis.
Schedule it. My boys have a two hour period of the day in the afternoon where they can finish up schoolwork, work on projects, and practice their instruments. Find a time that works for your family (like when younger siblings aren’t sleeping and parents aren’t working) and set that time aside for practice to ensure your child gets their practice time in.
Keep the lessons going. If you can afford to do so, keep the lessons going virtually if your child’s instructor is offering that. If they aren’t, or you just can’t swing the cost every week, look online for free lessons and videos that teach new skills. I even found one of the major guitar brands offering three free months of lessons through their app!
Incentivize it. At school, or wherever they take lessons, children typically have the ability to earn awards and participate in music contests and performances which gives them something to work towards. With school out they might not have those things anymore so make your own awards, contests, and challenges up! One example is to challenge your child to practice every day for 30 days straight and then celebrate their hard work with a pizza night or something else they’d enjoy. Or have them perform a new song they’ve been working on and after the performance take them out for ice cream to celebrate.
Record them and remind them of their progress. Sometimes when you are practicing a skill daily you don’t notice a change in your ability which an be discouraging. Remind them of all the progress they’ve made by showing them a video of their first lesson or another time early on in their musical history. They’ll see how much they have learned and grown as a musician so far and be encouraged to keep going. Record them playing every month or so and let them listen to previous recordings as time goes on so that they can hear their progress.
Give them time off. These months at home are challenging for everyone so give them days off from practicing. I generally let my boys have the weekends off from their schoolwork and practicing.
Want more music tips? Check out the Musician Authority website to get other ideas for ways you can help your budding musician!