Did you know that there are 3 equally important sides to your music practice?
To improve your child’s musical abilities (or your own for that matter) you need to attack your practice from 3 angles. Each one plays an important role in motivating, informing and regulating the practice. Remember that you or your child will invest countless hours of practice over the months and years ahead. Hence you need to ensure that they are being spent wisely or else you will hit a plateau, become discouraged and eventually disengage from the art. If you have even been frustrated due to lack of progress, follow the golden triangle of attack to invigorate your music practice.
Side 1: The Teacher
To begin with, ensure that you have researched and found the best teacher for your current level and needs. Remember that its always best to invest in an experienced and accredited professional as this will yield much more results and enjoyment that trying to save money and ending up with an undergraduate teacher with next to no experience in teaching. True teachers have spent years developing their pedagogy, industry experience and personal practice. So ensure that your teacher matches the Contreras Music standard:
. Working with Children Check
. Minimum Bachelor of Music (or close to completion) and preferred Masters degree in music
. Both instrumental and educational experience
. Dedicated to quality teaching
Side 2: The Parents
You parents play an essential role in the development of your child’s musical abilities. Do not be misled by the misconception of talent, as even the most brilliant musicians needed to invest in countless hours of practice. Talent without discipline is no key to success and often results in lazy students who perform well under their potential. Parents should attend their children’s lessons where possible and ask questions of the teacher. These could include sharing concerns, asking for tips, asking something the child may be afraid to ask, or simply discussing strategies that may help with the home work component. Think of music lessons as a happy trip to the doctor. Your teacher examines, assists then prescribes a pattern of practice which should be followed strictly for ideal results. Would you let your child walk in to the doctor’s on their own whilst you perused Facebook until the session was over? Would you then just go home and expect the child to accurately apply the prescribed treatment on their own with no supervision or encouragement? Now parents, short of going ‘big brother’ and spying continually on your kids, you should think of this illustration as a team effort. By encouraging (not spying or tormenting) your children to practice, asking them about their goals, likes and dislikes; you are actually playing that essential support role in their music education. You will help ensure that the student is following the practice schedule in an effective manner, and this in turn will accelerate your child’s development by a significant degree. You do not need to be a musician or even know a lot about music, just ask the teacher what they are working on, and ensure that it is being followed. This is also important for keeping students motivated and on task. Unsupervised students may wonder off onto other songs, rush important sections, or even fall short of their minimum practice time goal. Having you present and involved in their music is the second and equally important aspect to their success.
Side 3: The Student
Of course, at the end of the day it all comes down to each individual person and their attitude towards a discipline. Whether that be sports, academics, arts, music or any other practice; they must enjoy it and be dedicated to their own improvement. Students should be informed that nothing worthwhile in life is easy or commitment free, hence they will need to put in some effort over a period of time in order for them to improve enough to enjoy playing the instrument. They need to commit to the practice schedule (even if it’s only a few days per week) so that they can advance and see value in their work. Each individual student will be good at something early on, however this does not dictate what they can do, or what they have the potential to accomplish. So if at first your child does not like the piano, try enrolling them into some guitar lessons. If they hate singing, why not try the drum kit? If they prefer team sports, then sign them up to the Contreras Music Band program which teams them up with other young musicians who also love music. Whatever the interest, whoever the student, at Contreras Music we have the right teacher for you. Why not refer a friend for a free trial lesson with our expert teachers today? It could be the start to a new musical career.
Enjoy your music and remember the golden triangle of practice!
© 2016 Cristian Contreras.