Where oh where has summer gone? I feel like just yesterday we were at the end of May and now we’re almost half-way through August! School is just around the corner for many of my clients so here are a couple quick tips to get the new year off to a good start!
1. Establish a routine!
Transitioning back to school can take it’s toll. There are so many new experiences, schedules, activities, and all around changes that it can make a person crazy! Having a set routine can help ease part of that transition and set up you up for a successful rest of the year. The fewer surprises and rushed tasks there are in the morning and evening, the happier the whole family will be! Plan ahead for the next day and let the kids know about any change that may upset this routine.
2. Set specific times/goals for practicing.
If a child knows that at 5:30 every day they sit at the piano for 10 minutes or play each of their songs 3 times, it’s going to be less of a hassle getting them to practice. Making it a habit that takes up a very small amount of time is much easier than trying to force a student to practice for longer once a week. Practicing doesn’t have to take up a huge amount of time. All I urge families to do is play something every day. Even if it is only for 5 minutes, be involved in music making every day!
3. Have FUN!
Music making shouldn’t be a chore! There are other ways to practice and learn than just following what is on the page. During lessons I use a lot of drawing, clapping, dancing, playing instruments, and playing on the iPad all to teach music. Be creative! If your child is learning rhythm, it’s just like fractions! Use food or drawing to help create the different rhythms in the piece. Play a music game like the one mentioned in this post, http://www.onagoodnote.net/apps-i-love-for-teaching/, to help learn note names and work on ear training. Sing and dance to a song on the radio, finding the beat and tapping it as you go. Explore the different sounds your instrument can make and try playing your assigned song different ways. Try learning one of your favorite songs. HAVE FUN!
Looking for more ideas to help ease the transition back to school and get your student playing? Ask myself or your teacher! I strive to help meet the individual needs of each family I work with and am always happy to help brainstorm some ideas!
Enjoy the new school year!