Friday, January 19, 2007

How to get your child to practise ... without resorting to violence!

I read most of this book at my sister-in-law's place: she is also a piano teacher. The author, Cynthia Richards, has several children of her own, and managed to help most of them to learn to play various instruments, as well as conducting a busy piano studio.

Ken Foster has excerpts from this great book here. Now I'm wishing I had my own copy!

She makes some great points in her book, and while I will give you a few of her hints here, you will find it well worth your while to read the whole shebang. And it's as cheap as chips!

Mrs Richards alerts her readers to these stumbling blocks:
1 Indifferent home environment
2 Faulty teacher-child relationship
3 Lack of maturity and commitment in the child
4 The wrong instrument
5 Unfavourable practice conditions
6 Bad memories
7 Peer pressure not to practise
8 Not proficient enough to be competitive
9 Too many conflicting interests
10 Sibling rivalry
11 Competitive feelings with a parent
12 Communications

She also suggests some ways to overcome these problems:
1 Start early
2 Practise with your child every day
3 Set up family rules for practising
4 Use incentives when needed
5 Handle conflicts by
a avoiding emotional involvement
b being friendly
c being matter of fact
d not giving in
6 Enjoy your children's music
7 Praise them for their successes
8 Look for stumbling blocks and do your best to remove them
9 Focus your efforts on getting your child hooked on music

I highly recommend this book. If you follow the advice of a successful mother and music teacher, your child may not become a little Mozart; but you will be a better parent, your child will be a happier child and together you will enjoy some great musical experiences.

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