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Encouraging Young Music Students To Practice Their Instrument

Southwest Buckeye Piano Competition

Inspiring your child to practice daily may be a challenge. There are so many other distractions in his or her life, that even 15 minutes of refreshing scales and fingering exercises may be difficult to keep up.

What Can Help Parents Encourage Those Repetitions?

For a start, reminding your child of how proud you are of him or her when they put in the time – particularly when a new assignment is tougher than usual, and not yielding immediately satisfying results for them – can help remind them that music should be a source of joy, not an obligation.


For younger music students, especially, having small treats and incentives that help incentivize their practice can help. Collecting stickers that add up to new toys, or new books, or extra time on their tablet – all of this can assist. Your children may have a variety of inspiring rewards to earn. A meal at their favorite restaurant, or a chance to stay up an hour later on the weekend, for example.

Do As I Do….

If you yourself are practicing something as well, you can keep pace with them. Much like runners who run together to maintain the tempo of their runs, letting your child know that you are learning something new as well can give them a sense of camaraderie, and an understanding that working toward a clear goal is something that adults do as well.

Flowkey has a list of incentive ideas too, which may come in handy as you help your children develop a regular habit of practicing:

One note in that article which I found helpful is that two short sessions of 10 or 15 minutes each may be more beneficial to a music student than one long marathon practice session.