Practice Motivation Tips

Practicing is sometimes a challenge and a little extra motivation is needed to encourage your child to persevere through daily practice.  Non-material or material rewards can be effective. Also changing the routine can be fun and add variety.  Here are some ideas that I hope will be helpful.

Non-material rewards might include reading a favorite book together, choosing what to have for dinner, or playing a favorite game. Reward a full week of good practicing with a parent/child outing or play date with friends.

Use M & M’s, chocolate chips, raisins, etc.  With every successful repetition, your child is rewarded with a goody.  An unsuccessful repetition results in Mom or Dad eating the goody! 

Use coins.  Add a penny for every successful repetition in a row.  Have him deposit each coin in a piggy bank.  Take the opportunity to make each repetition better.

Let your child decide the order in which to practice things.

Make an audience with stuffed toys.

Pick slips from a hat telling what to practice. 

Make a bingo card with practice tasks on it.  Allow your child to attempt to get a Bingo by doing each task in a row.  You can take this a step further by drawing each task from a hat, and the child must do the tasks, hoping he can get 5 in a row.  If he gets Bingo in a single practice session, give a special reward.

Have you child pick from a deck of cards and repeat a technique or passage as many times as the card’s value.

Ask your child to be the teacher.  Have her instruct you on how to play a piece or technique, and then have her demonstrate.

Take a violin tour.  Play something different in each room of the house (the big sound in the bathroom is very exciting!).

Record your child playing a piece.  Have him critique the good and the bad.

Alter a board game like Candy Land or Monopoly to use for review songs or practice tasks.  Roll the dice to determine the number of repetitions. The child performs the repetitions and then moves that many spaces on the board.  Try to get all the way around the board as you work through the practicing assignments.

If you have any new ideas, please share them!