As a music teacher, it’s fairly easy for me to tell if my students have been practicing in between lessons. If they are having the same sorts of troubles that they were having the last week, it becomes pretty apparent.
Unlike a student’s other activities like sports or dance, music needs to be practiced more than once a week. Mastering an instrument takes a lot of time and energy, and if the passion isn’t there, it can become difficult for the student and the teacher.
To inspire a student to practice at home, you need so spark their passion. It may take some trial and error but here is a little bit on how to get your music students to practice at home.
1. Listen to your student
The communication in your music lesson can’t be a one way street. In order for your students to feel comfortable, you need to listen.
2. Ask them questions
This goes along with number 1; it’s important to ask questions. Have discussions about their goals with music, and how they would like to get there. Talk about why they may or may not like a song, or how they are going to get through a challenging piece. When you ask a question and their answer is “Practice!” it resonates with them more than it would if you just told them to practice.
3. Teach them songs they recognize
Playing a song they recognize gives them a clear goal. When they hear the first set of notes they will instinctively want to learn to play the rest so they can feel that satisfaction. It can be difficult to grasp a song they haven’t heard before because they have nothing to compare it to, so make sure they are ready for that challenge.
4. Give their parents a few tips
Put together a monthly email to send to parents that give them updates on the lessons, and tips for practicing at home. Also, when they come for drop off and pick up, ask them how it’s going and engage in conversation with them.
5. Make it fun
Try out some games or incentives that make the learning process fun for your students. There are so many resources on the internet for different games and exercises.