How do I get my child to practice instrument? Here are 6 parenting tips.

Learning how to play an instrument is extremely rewarding for children. Throughout the learning process, children develop self-esteem and confidence. They share their talent with friends and family, and regular playing in front of an audience will combat stage fright and fear of speaking in public. Playing an instrument is also relaxing and can lead to improvements in other areas of children’s lives.

All these benefits are achieved through regular practice, but practice can become boring, frustrating, feel like a chore, or even intimidating for children. Young musicians can get stuck on hand positions or part of a song. They can also become dejected when they see other kids excel at music. Whatever the reason for your child’s reluctance to practice their instrument, there are some things you can do to inspire them again.

1. Discover why your child doesn’t want to practice their instrument.

Sit down with your child and talk about why they don’t want to practice or are having trouble practicing. Do they feel too busy? Are they upset because they feel they will never be as good as other students? Do they feel too much pressure? Ask your child questions about how they feel about practicing. If you are sympathetic about their feelings and show you care, your child will most likely tell you exactly what’s wrong.

2. Make a commitment to try something new.

After you’ve figured out why your child doesn’t like practicing, make a commitment to helping them enjoy practicing again. Emphasize you will work as a team to figure something out.

3. Figure out your child’s optimum practicing time.

Sometimes a simple change in the practicing time is all that’s needed. If your child usually practices their instrument at night, have them wake up on time to practice before breakfast. If your child practices after working on homework for 2 hours, try splitting up homework time and practicing the instrument in between. It might take a while to figure out what works best, so be patient and understanding during this process. Once you determine the ideal practice time, be sure to add it to the family's reward and tracking system.

4. Practice to their favorite music.

There is sheet music for nearly every band and music style. Let your child practice to their favorite song for 5 to 10 minutes before and after their regular practice session. This will get them revved up for the session and give them something to look forward to when they are done.

5. Change the scenery.

Sometimes a change of scenery helps motivate children to practice. Try going to a park or a friend’s or family member’s house or your backyard to practice. Fresh air does wonders to energize our brains.

6. Plan a family recital.

Invite friends and family to listen to what your child has learned. Having a recital to practice for will help your child stay focused and motivated. Knowing that their friends and family support them will help as well. You can even turn this recital into an elegant event complete with refreshments and a red carpet.