Music Matters – Practice Makes Perfect

For beginner musicians, musical practice is a requirement to improving skills and acquiring proficiency and there is no shortcut around this fact.  Beginners are learning some totally new integrated physical skills: breathing, fingerings or hand positions, and embouchure (the way their mouth contacts the instrument) all at the same time.  Success comes only with consistent repetition.

How can you help?  Here are a couple of tips to encouraging a good practice routine:

·      Make sure your child has a dedicated space for practice.  They need a chair they can sit up straight in with feet touching the floor, and a music stand to hold their music.  Ideally, these would remain in place so that your child doesn’t have to spend time setting up.

·      Short amounts of daily practice (even 5-10 minutes) are better than one long practice, once a week.  Repeating a skill multiple times is key to muscle memory and retention.  Practicing right before bedtime can make it part of your child’s bedtime routine.

·      Ask your student to play for others occasionally.  You, grandparents, other family, and friends can be the audience for short concerts for reinforcement and encouragement.

·      Remind your child to properly clean their instrument when they finish and to take apart their instrument and put it in its case.

Lori Supinie