Musical Musings

Sharing musical thoughts and ideas.

School year and routines and a free printable

Thursday, August 8, 2019 by Paula Augustine | Parent Ideas

It is back to school time and back to schedules. Some of our personalities are glad when the school year gets us back on task again, while other personalities will miss the carefree days of summer with no schedules.

Routines and practicing at home:

Consistent Daily Practice Routine: With regular weekly piano lessons also comes scheduling in time during the week for your student to get to their instrument and spend time practicing. Having practice time available as part of the student's routine is very important. Have an established daily practice time, like right after breakfast. Stick to this time. Generally, the more consistent you are, the more willingly your child will follow the routine, and the less resistance you will encounter.

Provide Company: Sometimes students feel practice time is lonely time. Some kids will go to their instrument more willingly if you provide some company during their practice time. Some children like you to sit right next to them, others will just want your presence in the room (you can just enjoy a peaceful moment reading a book or doing a craft).

Avoid the Banishment Approach: Watching the way we speak and announce practice time can set a positive or a negative emotion for the student. We don’t want practicing to feel like punishment or a time-out.

Give a "Treat": Or something after practice that will be fun. Young children are just beginning to understand what being disciplined means and why we set aside daily time to practice. Generally, I am not a fan of giving tangible treats or rewards, I want kids to learn to love music for its own sake. An occasional special treat or reward can provide an excellent boost to motivation, maybe after a tough day at school or after negative time with others.

Make Your Child Feel Like the Expert: The following technique works well with younger kids. Sit down at the bench and begin playing. Say something like, “Wow, I really need someone to show me how to do this, or I can’t remember how this song goes.” Most kids will very willingly come and set you straight.

Free Printable from Keri Lynn Snyder's blog:

Here is a free download to help you cultivate an intentional school year. It includes sections to reflect on the summer, process how you feel about the upcoming school year, start conversation with your kids, and brainstorm rhythms for the new school year. Click here to download the free printable.