Practice takes time and work - for all of us.
Practice is the most talked about topic when it comes to music education. Lots of parents have issues with practice in regards to their children's progress and adult students often struggle with finding time for it during a working week. Everyone plays a part in building good practice habits and routines. One very important thing to remember is - it takes time and dedication, and we are always working on it.
Practice - The role of the parent
I don't play an instrument so, I thought I can't help?
When your child has enrolled for lesson as a parent you should not be concerned if you lack musical experience, have not played an instrument or are unsure how it all works. This has nothing to do with whether you can support your son/daughter regarding practice. This is because the habits that build good practice are not exclusive to music but are found in our daily lives and in your experience as a person.
Practice is just a word.
As a parent draw your attention towards the habits required for commitment to an activity and find the common ground. Share with your child what habits have helped you and move away from the obvious point that you can’t play the instrument. For example, if you work out at a Gym you may have had some periods of ups and downs and maybe you've not always felt particularly motivated - this experience can be shared as they will go through the same feelings and experiences learning an instrument.
Share how you continued to find a way to commit or not commit and how to improve. The common ground here is that we all need support and hearing how we can improve or that others have been through the same, helps us feel human. Our habits and experience are transferable, you can pass on that you felt the same at one point and most importantly, share the experience of effort and reward through sticking to something. Here are a few more things to consider:
Sit in on lessons to keep a pulse on what's happening - communication is key with your child and the tutor. As a parent, you can help with explaining details or areas your child did not quite understand or remember.
Read the lesson notes on the Student Portal with your child and make sure they make sense. Work with the tutor if the notes need work or clarification. If the language or descriptions are vague, communicate this and seek clarification.
Mentor your child with how to set a routine and work on sticking to that with them. Plan small and short practice spots that can increase over time. Make it simple at the start and understand this will take time - mentoring is important and children need your understanding when things are challenging.
The tutors here at Chasing Sound have a number of roles but the one thing they can’t do is control what’s happening outside of the lesson. It’s important that you think about this perspective because it will help with questions and how you spend your time in the lesson.
Don't get into the habit of lip service, for example: "I say to go practice but they won’t do it!" There are reasons why this might be their response, so if things need work, talk to the tutor of the Chasing Sound Admin Team.
Lessons are only 30 mins on one day, so the real work happens at home throughout the rest of the week. This is why you need to check lesson notes and make sure you are clear before you leave each lesson.
Remember, you are not alone - practice is a team effort, not the responsibility of just the tutor, or Chasing Sound or you.
Practice - The role of the tutor
The tutor sets the tone, mentors, and builds the relationship with music.
Although practice itself happens away from the Studio, the tutor has a responsibility in lessons to scaffold it at home - with clear communication, goals and approaches.
Some things for tutors to consider:
Student engagement and a good environment for learning is a key start to lessons.
Understanding why the student is there and helping the student achieve what they want in their lessons - clearly showing how to progress on the instrument.
Communicating clear lessons notes, setting the standards for the practice routine and habits and modelling problem solving and practice strategies in lessons.
Encouraging students to explore music and learn new skills during their lessons.
Sharing ideas, working towards performances and finding ways to study the instrument. This can be as simple as joining a band, playing with a peer or working towards an exam.
Sharing the information with the parent - who should also be asking questions, too. The best practice is to end some lessons a little early and have a chat about progress with all parties - tutor, student and parent.
If parents feel the tutor is not sharing enough information, Chasing Sound gives them the option of sitting in on the lesson, or requesting a progress update.
Practice - The role of Chasing Sound
Our aim is to communicate, maintain culture and improve the learning enviroment.
The Admin Team at Chasing Sound are here to improve tutoring, our processes and provide a touch point for everyone to reach out as required.
Our culture is one where we want to work hand in hand with progress and avoid problems compounding and creating frustration. The only way to improve practice is to communicate through email so we can formally address how to help.