7 Fun-Filled Practice Ideas
Has your child become bored with practice time? If so, now is a great time to give home practice a fresh makeover. At Dawson Music Academy, we think practice time shouldn’t be boring. We’re excited to share 7 ways to bring some fun into practice time.
Encouraging words from family members help make practice time enjoyable. Try phrases such as “standing ovation,” “bravo,” or even something humorous like “my ears are smiling.” Similar to cheering on players in a baseball game, encouraging words remind musicians not to give up when it’s hard. Saying the words out loud works great, but you can also write encouraging words at the top of the music to continue the visual encouragement each time the music is played. Try it out and see how much fun it is!
Weekly “Star” Sessions
To give practice sessions a new look, try scheduling “home concerts” and inviting family members to be the audience. These concerts not only add a fun dimension to practice time, but also provide a great way to spend family time together. For a fun twist, you could share the concerts by FaceTime with relatives who live out of state.
For some variety during practice sessions, let students record themselves playing a song. When they listen to the recording, have them identify sections that need practice. Another fun option is to find a recording online of someone else playing the student’s piece. The student can learn new ways of interpreting the music by listening to another musician play the same piece.
Family Band Time
Try rewarding students with “Family Band Time” for the last 5 minutes of practice sessions. If another family member plays an instrument, have them play a duet with the student. If no one else plays an instrument, have the other family members clap a steady beat, or even make up a silly dance to go along with the mood of the music. Involving the family in practice time helps students enjoy the music they are learning.
Movie Theme Music
Invite your musician to provide the “background music” for your activities. Try making a game out of it. For example, have them play music while dinner is cooking. Can they choose songs to reflect the different “moods” of cooking in the kitchen? Perhaps a slow song while the water is boiling and a fast song while the mixer is going would be appropriate. Creative musicians will enjoy this game of sharing activity-themed music.
Favorite Song Request
Encourage students to play their “favorite song” to start or end practice time. For a fun twist, have mom or dad choose their favorite song and have a “Favorites Request Session.” (Another twist on this same idea is to write all the pieces for the week on a piece of paper and draw from a hat to select the “favorite song” to be played.)
Music Games & Apps
Music apps provide a fun change to routine theory practice drills. Apps and music theory games help students improve important skills such as note reading, rhythm patterns, and ear training. Since apps adjust to different learning levels and provide immediate feedback, many of our students find these apps helpful. Click here to see some of our favorite apps and try them out today!
At Dawson Music Academy, we focus on sharing the joy of music with students; from fun-filled weekly lessons to practice tips to performance opportunities. To experience the joy of music through private lessons, register today for lessons.
Contributor Kimberly Jones is a wife, mother, and the Director of the Dawson Music Academy at the Dawson Family of Faith.