6 Things to Shout from the Kitchen (6 Easy Practice Tips for Non-Musical Parents)

If your child is taking lessons on an instrument you yourself don’t play, it can be difficult to know how to help them. Certainly, your child’s instructor at the Dawson Music Academy is your best resource to know how to help your child, but sometimes it’s helpful to have a couple of quick tools up your sleeve. Here are six thing to say to your child to help them practice better.

“Do that part again at half that speed.”

Lots of beginners rush through practice, and taking it slowly forces them them concentrate on accuracy. Go even further by setting a timer for 5 minutes and have slow-mo time.

“Do just that part perfectly 3 times in a row.”

The count resets if they make a mistake, so make the goal attainable. Usually, you’ll want to use just a section, not the entire song. If it gets frustrating, slow it down.

“Play the last measure of that section, and the first measure of the next.”

Every song can be divided up into sections, and it’s usually the connections between sections that are hardest. Practicing the places sections connect is a great investment of time.

“What would your teacher tell you to do if he/she just heard you play that? Do that!”

Put your child in the role of their own teacher, and invite them to reflect on their own practice. This is a great way for them to invite praise and criticism of themselves.

“Turn on the metronome.”

If you have a metronome, which is a device that makes a steady clicking sound, turn it on and let your child find a speed at which they can accurately play their song. Slow and accurate is better than fast and inconsistent.

“Practice the end.”

Generally, most beginners start at the beginning of the song when they practice, so it gets the most work. Simply starting at a different spot is a great way to improve.

You don’t have to be a master musician to help your child practice well. Holler one of these things from the other room every once and a while, and you’ll be supporting their practice. As always, reach out to their instructor anytime for more specific practice tips.

Contributor John Woods is the Music & Worship Pastor of the Dawson Family of Faith.