// We all know that doing things consistently in life is a BIG challenge, below are 5 tips to help you stay motivated.
1. Make a poster for your overall practice goal and the steps necessary for achieving the goal
Having a visual of a big goal with smaller steps on how to achieve it makes an insurmountable task doable. If a step feels too big, break it down into smaller steps. Breaking down overwhelming goals into doable steps is an extremely important part of practice.
>> One student brought in her practice poster in last week, inspiring this post.
2. For long term motivation, record your child playing the same piece once a month for a year.
A great way to review improvement, it will give a tangible experience of how far your child has come and bring value to their hard work. Watch it whenever the need arises!
3. For pure inspiration, go to concerts, gigs and performances!
Seeing an orchestra, band or performer get up on stage and play music is an inspiring event. This is what we practice for, to share our music with others. Seeing others play the same instrument as you to high level shows you where you can go with your learning. Aim to get to a concert once a month or more!
4. Daily practice
Regular practice = steady progress = smiling content students
Consistency is everything when learning an instrument. They take many years to master and so progress needs to be tangible and satisfying along the way. If your child is bored and lacks inspiration, its highly likely they are not progressing at a rewarding rate.
A veteran Suzuki teacher, Neal Donner, considers that the rate of learning Suzuki books are FOUR TIMES SLOWER if you practice 30 mins 3 days a week as opposed to 30 mins 7 days a week.
For the student it can feel like they are going nowhere fast when practice is lacking in its methodology and consistency. They will inevitably become less inclined to practice and practice time is harder on everyone involved. If you are in this situation the best thing to do is to wipe the slate clean and start as you mean to go on.
Practice 7 days a week. Practice methodically and intentionally, practice the work your teacher sets.
A famous teacher once told me this quote from 'Ignacy Jan Paderewski' a Polish Pianist and Composer -
“If I miss one day of practice, I notice it. If I miss two days, the critics notice it. If I miss three days, the audience notices it.” 5. Create opportunities for your child to perform and play regularly.
Performance and sharing music is what its all about! Set up play dates with your children's musical friends, perform at school, for the mailman, for your neighbor, at open mic's and coffee shops, go busking! Get out there and play!
The feeling you get from playing for others is amazing! If your child's only audience is the four walls of the practice room for weeks on end, they will lose sight of why they are practicing. Sharing music with others will leave them feeling inspired and give a huge boost to confidence!