How to Motivate Kids to Practice Guitar
Whether you homeschool or not, you probably have a difficult time getting your child to practice their musical instrument. No matter the instrument, be it a ukulele, guitar, piano, clarinet, or saxophone, practice makes perfect. So, how do you motivate kids to practice guitar? Read on for some valuable parenting tips that may just save your sanity.
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|How do you motivate your child to practice their musical instrument?|
No matter how much your child loves playing the guitar or the ukulele, there comes a time when he or she isn’t in the mood to practice. When this happens, what can you do?
First, you need to determine why your child doesn’t feel like practicing. Perhaps they find their old guitar to be too unwieldy or cumbersome, or it won’t stay in tune and they’re not enjoying the sound that comes out of it. If the problem is the starter guitar, it would be a good idea to look into other guitar models that kids would like. A great-sounding small guitar is one of the best motivators for kids to keep practicing.
More ideas on how to motivate your child to practice guitar:
Assess the practice schedule
If practice time is set too close to bedtime, your child may already feel too tired to pick up the guitar. Sit down with your child and talk about a good practice schedule he or she can stick to. Some children may enjoy a 15-minute practice session in the morning before school and another 15-minute session in the afternoon. Put your child in control of the daily practice schedule and give them a gentle reminder to stick to it.
Set up a reward system
Construct a reward system based on goals. For this you’ll need to work with your child’s guitar teacher so you’re on the same page. You can utilize a number of methods for the reward system, such as points for every goal met or number of minutes of practice. It’s up to you and what you think would work best according to your child’s personality. Find ways to keep the reward system fun - level up rewards or create bigger challenges to keep your child aiming for the gold.
Schedule regular performances
Performances keep young guitar players excited. Nervous too sometimes, but it’s part of motivating children to practice. After all, no one wants to play badly at a recital, so one is really bound to practice. Performances also work to hold kids accountable, while helping them develop confidence and keeping them inspired to keep on learning.
Offer words of encouragement
Learning to play the guitar isn’t always a sunny experience. There are good days and bad days. Children may become frustrated at not being able to play a particular chord or learn a new song. Times like these, it’s up to you as a parent to keep their pep up.
Ask how their guitar lessons went and ask them to show you what they've learned. Listen to them play the guitar and cheer them on. Tell them how proud you are of how good they’ve become and how they could get even better with more practice. When they see you are really interested, they are more likely to practice so they can show you more of their guitar skills.
Many kids learning guitar may not feel up to practicing because they are not aware of the amount of progress they’ve made from Day One. To motivate your child to practice, track their progress and show them how far they’ve come. You can do this by taking short video clips of practice sessions and performances. When your child sees how much they’ve improved because of practicing, they will become more motivated to keep at it and make their guitar practicing more consistent.
Do you have other tips for motivating children to practice playing the guitar? Share them with us in the comments.