During your child’s guitar playing journey, there may be periods when they are less enthusiastic about practising. This happens to every child, even the most well behaved. It’s not always because they aren’t enjoying the instrument, but rather there will always be challenges on the guitar that needs to be overcome when learning new pieces or new techniques. Learning to work through these challenges is what teaches children to take constructive feedback, and build patience and confidence. It helps them recognise that the hard work they put into practising actually improves their playing, which is immensely rewarding.
In these harder periods of learning, it’s important as parents to continue to support them and help them get through these times so they can continue to get the rewards that come with playing the guitar.
Make sure your child enjoys their guitar lessons with their guitar teacher
First of all, we should make sure that your child is enjoying their lessons with their guitar teacher. They should be in a fun, relaxed environment. They should be challenged and encouraged to try new things. They might go through periods where they aren’t enjoying themselves as much, but overall, they should look forward to the lessons. You should also have confidence that the teacher is providing the right materials for the children in lessons and also for their practice at home as well.
Try using a practise challenge to kick start things off
One way to kick start their motivation and get them into practice as a routine is to do a practise challenge. Set a period of days and a certain amount of time they must practise daily to meet that goal. This should be something the teacher recommends. Then set a reward for the end of the challenge, something fun that they would enjoy like spending time with their parents on a day out or some chocolates. This helps to make practising a bit more fun and competitive with themselves to help encourage them.
Get them practising as part of their daily routine
Get your children to practice as part of their daily routine
Just like brushing their teeth isn’t an option. Get them thinking practising is just another part of their daily routine that they have to do to get good at the guitar and get to go to lessons. It is so much more worthwhile for your child to do 10 minutes a day than 60 minutes at the end of the week. Just them just doing short amounts into their daily routine so they know it’s expected and when they progress through their daily practice, they will slowly feel more motivated to practice.
Record their progress on video
With your smartphone or webcam, record their progress once a month. This gives a great record of how much they progress over time. When they have these guitar practising hurdles, both of you have something to look back on to see how much improvements have been made. This can be really motivating to see how much progress is made long term. Especially when practising can seem difficult always, it’s actually because your child is being challenged, and improvements are happening with their guitar playing.
Have an understanding of what is expected as practice at home
It’s important for the parent to know to a certain level what practice is and what your child should be working on when they are at home. Especially for younger children. Otherwise, you might get situations where they play around on the guitar and tell you they have practised when they haven't really practised. It is certainly okay to have some playing guitar time that isn’t practising, but real practice is where progress is made. It’s like the studying for an exam, where real learning is done. Whereas just doing the same exam over and over again just helps you memorise that exam paper. Practising is where new techniques are learnt, solidified and refined. If you know what they should do, then you can help keep them accountable at home. And when that happens, they can enjoy having you more involved in their guitar life. Also when they make more progress because they have practised properly, they will feel more motivated to practice. Do you see a pattern emerging?
Do little guitar practise performances for friends and families
When you have friends or families visiting, say to your child that they would love to hear what they have been practising or playing. If you can give them notice, that’s great. As this happens more often, they will know to always be prepared, in case they need to play. It will help boost their confidence playing in front of others as well. Ensure you give them lots of praise for doing it. In the beginning, they may a little shy, but this will decrease over time. Doing this in your own home initially is a great way of easing them into performing or playing in front of others. After this, they can also get involved school assemblies or school plays etc. to help them. All of this will help encourage them to do extra practice.
We hope these tips help you and your child to improve their playing on the guitar by doing more guitar practice. If you are wanting your child to really improve their playing while having a lot of fun in a relaxing, encouraging environment. And you are based in East London, then we would love to hear from you. Contact us by clicking the button below. We offer a free lesson so you can be confident that we can help your child progress on guitar.