By Stephen Agnew, B.A., M.A.T.
Children are most successful in learning to play an instrument when they have support at home, but parents who are not musically proficient often wonder how to help their child practice. Many parents who possess no formal musical training mistakenly believe they can provide little or no help to their child at home. Even the most unmusical parents can take several relatively simple steps to ensure their child gets the most out of his or her practice time.
At our East Brunswick Academy and WhiteHouse Station location we offer parents tips to help their child schedule a consistent daily practice time. It does not necessarily need to be the same time each day, but it is generally best if parents can schedule practicing at a time that will be predictable to the child rather than having to tell your child when it is time to practice. For example, your child could practice each day before leaving for school or as soon as he or she gets home. It may also help to have your child practice in multiple shorter practice sessions spread throughout the day rather than in a single longer session.
Find a schedule that works for you and your child and try to stick to it as consistently as possible. If practice time is shortened or skipped in order to attend other extracurricular activities it will send a message to the child that practicing is not very important. Learning a musical instrument requires discipline and dedication and developing a consistent practice routine is essential to achieving musical success.