Where does the young player’s motivation come from?
I was trying to collect some thoughts this morning after recently being confronted by frustrated parents. Parents were frustrated, saying “He does now practice! He just does not practice!” Stay calm.... of course, I understand. Motivation and inspiration ebbs and flows.... but at a young age and beginning level, what can a family do at home to help their young guitar player stay motivated to practice? There are no perfect answers, but I sent these simple recommendations out to my parents this morning:
Here are some things we can do at home to help and motivate the guitar player in our household:
1) Ask for a small concert once every week. Put the home concert in the middle of the week between lessons, so there is time to practice before and afterwards.
2) Do not say negative things about the home concert - make sure it is purely a positive experience. I promise we all know our mistakes and the players don’t like the mistakes either!
3) Enjoy the time together and watch the effort and concentration that our musician makes. Be proud of the effort and concentration. Playing may not be “great”, but results will improve over time, but effort and concentration should always be respected.
4) Be consistent in our requests to hear the music - this is important.
Ask once EVERy week!
Our student will realize that it is important to the family! Improvement happens faster with consistent practice, and consistent practice is easier in a supportive environment.
5) Ask to hear old pieces and new pieces.
6) Ask which ones they like the best.
7) Ask what music has been assigned for the current week. (HINT: I write it down in their folder.😉)
- Ask what is the piece called?
- Ask what is hard about it?
- Ask “what skill is new that you are learning in this piece?” (I write that down, too...)
When we ask these questions, it shows that we care. And when the student sees and believes that the family cares, that person automatically cares more too.
We are all like this! Little people and adults alike.
So, it is a tool we can use to help motivate and grow our students faster at home.... it should be fun!
****please leave the criticisms to me****
It is my responsibility to point out areas of improvement and to guide the student through the process of correction and growth, so please don’t do this yourself. 😉
Just listen attentively, enjoy each small success, watch and respect the concentration and effort, and playing ability is sure to grow. 👍