Getting your child to practise the guitar can be easiest thing in the world at times and a nightmare at other times. And the truth is that even with the best behaved children in the world. Sometimes kids don’t feel like doing their practise. Or they are working on something that is hard and they are struggling and feel frustrated.
There are lots of reasons for it, but you shouldn’t feel discouraged. When your child practises well and they enjoy their lessons. They will make a lot of progress on their instruments. And in doing so will see how their hard work and effort translate into results. This confidence really builds into other skills that they are learning. Whether it’s in school or outside of school. Because of this, we want to maintain a consistent practise routine for them. Now let’s see what ideas we have if you are struggling to get your child to practise.
Make sure that they are enjoying their kids guitar lessons with their guitar teacher
If your child doesn’t want to practise for months at a time, then it could be down to their lessons. Are they complaining about going to their guitar lessons? Are they in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere? In general, there will be periods where a child is less motivated than others. But, over the longer span of time, they should find enjoyment in learning the guitar. Both yourself and your child should also be confident in the teacher and trust what they say. Know that the work the teacher teaches them is at the right level for them. And that it is work that they can do on their own at home.
Use a guitar practise challenge to help motivate them
The idea is to have a reward after a set of days so that they feel motivated to practise. By setting a challenge, it makes the practising that much more fun and competitive for them. You don’t have to provide any expensive gifts. Spending some extra time with them or giving them a few chocolates would work well. Having a reward means they have something to look forward to as well. You should set a certain amount of time that they need to practise every day as a goal depending what the teacher recommends. As part of the challenge.
Get them practising their guitar as a routine
For your child, I’m sure brushing their teeth is not optional, get them to treat guitar practise the same way. Get them to practise at a similar time every day to keep it consistent. Daily practise is so much more useful for their progress than doing a long session once a week. It will speed up their learning and let them see the results of practising quickly.
Video their playing once a month
We recommend using your phone or camera to video their playing once a month. Slowly, you will start to have an archive of their playing to look back on. It’s very motivating for both your child and yourself to see the progress they make long term. Whether it’s a few months or a few years into their playing. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day to day practise and not see the bigger picture. When they have made big improvements over a long period of time.
It’s super easy to do now with all the technologies we have. It can serve as a good tool for when they face any new challenges on their guitar by reminding them of all the effort they have put in before. And all the previous challenges they have overcome by practising.
Have an understanding on what your child should be working on and practising when they are at home
There is a big difference between playing the guitar and practising the guitar. And it shows in the amount they improve in their guitar playing over time. It’s important that the parent understand this difference and know what they should be working on at home. To keep them accountable and make sure they are working on what they should be. Of course, outside of the practise time. They can play whatever they want on the guitar. But during practise, it’s important to try to stick to what the teacher has set them.
You can find out what your child should be practising on by having great communication with the guitar teacher. This helps you get involved in their learning as well.
Encourage your child to do performances in front of people
Whether it is friends or family who may be coming round for a cup of tea or a meal. Try to encourage them to show what they have been practising. And if you know people are coming round in advance, you can tell your child so they do extra practise in advance. Playing in front of others will help build their confidence slowly and surely. And when they do perform, ensure you give them lots of praise for how much effort they have put into practising. This confirms in their mind that practising is a positive thing that has gotten them the compliment.
If there are other opportunities at school as well, try to get your child involved in those. Whether it’s assemblies or school concerts. Having these extra commitments will get them to feel motivated to practise themselves because they want to play well in front of others.
Darryl Powis, Owner of Guitar Tuition East London, providing Guitar Lessons for Kids, London, England. Teaching children and kids not only how to play the guitar, but to enjoy and have fun. The guitar lessons are interactive, and creative. Focused on providing a strong foundation for success in life.