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#14014 - 05/26/00 11:42 AM How do you encourage longer practices?
Dan Saydak Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 04/04/00
Posts: 268
Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
My son, 12, and a pretty good intermediate level player, doesn't practice as long as he should. Once he learns the notes in a new piece, he plays it only once or twice thru in a practice. with once through scales, triads, etc, and once or twice thru maybe 2 or 3 pieces, his practice is barely 15 minutes. He's made it this far on some natural gifting, but his teacher told me privately he's concerned, especially for next year. Does anybody have any thoughts on motivating longer practice times? My wife and i are having difficulty agreeing on things like reward systems etc and would appreciate any help, thanks,Dan Saydak

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#14015 - 05/28/00 07:48 PM Re: How do you encourage longer practices?
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
Dan,
I would suggest three things to try. First, buy an inexpensive eggtimer and have him use that for each book, with amount of time for each specified by his teacher, understanding that he can relax the time amount once he has mastered what the teacher wants him to for that week. A lot of times kids have no concept of the time they've actually practiced something and *think* they've practiced a looooong time when it hasn't been. (Like me and housecleaning, for instance. LOL I use a timer to force myself to do things for 10-15 minutes for the reward of reading a magazine or book!) Second, discuss with the teacher and see if maybe he needs more specific practice instructions in his assignment book. (And make sure he bothers to actually *read* his assignment! ) The teacher probably needs to break the assignment down into small doable chunks. It can be very overwhelming to receive an assignment for a new longish piece and, for many, it's easier to just avoid/procrastinate. Also, for the stuff he barrels through he needs very specific istructions. For example, it probably is not enough to just assign a scale. How many times? At varying metronome speeds? With different articulations? dynamics, etc. If he has specific instructions to follow it might help stretch the practice time out. Finally, get him something musically motivating unlike the usual assignment fare he learns so that he can "reward" himself with between "eggtimings." Good luck!

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