Summer is still in full swing and many kids are footloose and fancy-free. Maybe they are at a camp, a beach, or right here in NYC, taking part in the many fun activities our city has to offer.
But while they are enjoying their break, chances are that school and homework are the furthest things from their minds.
And we bet that practicing their instrument is not on their radar either. But there is no reason to take vacation from music!
Hey, we understand that kids need to have a carefree vacation. But on the other hand, giving up all their regular activities — including music — is not a good thing.
If your children don’t play their instrument for weeks, they may lose some of the skills and techniques they had mastered during the school year. This means that they will have to re-learn what they already knew but had forgotten in the meantime. (It’s the so-called “use it or lose it” phenomenon!)
If that’s the case, they may lose their motivation to keep on playing and want to give up music lessons altogether. You certainly don’t want that to happen — they have worked hard to achieve a certain level of proficiency and it would be such a pity not to build up on the progress they made.
This is where you, the parent, can, um, call the tune!
Here are five ways to motivate your child to keep on playing:
Encourage: Explain to your child why it is important for him/her to continue practicing and what would happen if he/she doesn’t: much of the progress he/she made during the school year would be lost and he/she would have to re-master the skills he/she already learned.
Be Flexible: It’s not necessary to keep the same practice schedule during vacation as during the school year. Find a “happy medium” — say 20 minutes a few times a week.
The Importance of Scheduling: It’s probably not a good idea to schedule practice for when your child is tired and cranky — like in the evening. Choose the time when he/she is rested and energized, maybe right after breakfast.
Team Effort: If your child has friends or family members who play an instrument, arrange a group practice. If they play well together (pun intended!), they could perform a “concert” at the end of the summer to show off their skills.
Turn Music Into a Family Affair: There is no shortage of concerts and live performances in NYC this month. Go with your child and inspire him/her in their musical journey!
As you can see, there are lots of ways to keep your child practicing this summer.