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#18 Practice Tips and Ideas for Parents

  1. Our best motivator works for us during the summer months when it's real hard to practice, because of fewer lessons and no group. I do a little program similar to last year's Suzuki bucks. A buck can be earned for a day's practice. If the child earns a certain amount of this fake paper money by a specific date towards the end of the summer, he/she can order a prize out of a music catalog (erasers, pens, posters, etc. related to music). This really kept us moving last summer/
  2. Stack washers on top of bow for practicing bow stroke.
  3. Say it's a sport, just like basketball or soccer, etc.
  4. Be ready for the big concert, gets his mind off the regular grind.
  5. No cartoons, playing, etc, until practicing is completed
  6. Remind them they can't play sports as an old person, but can still play music.
  7. I make out cards with their songs and/or other things they need to work on, and we take turns drawing out of a hat-the parent does something-then the child draws out a card and does it.
  8. We play pretwinkle and volume 1 tapes every morning on the way to school and again at bed time, making it part of bed time riturla.
  9. If I play my violin first (parent) they want to join in without my push.
  10. Adult play along, on any type of exercise, is more enjoyable for the children. "If Daddy plays along, it must be fun."
  11. Captain May I
  12. Bingo
  13. Playing along on piano (piano accompaniment books are available from local music stores)
  14. Teaching songs on the piano too
  15. Games
  16. Ice cream cone after group for practicing all week.
  17. Stickers
  18. Penny to practice-put it in a jar and keep counting
  19. Practicing in front of the mirror. Helps straight bow problems and child can correct it without parent intervening.
  20. Parent plays along
  21. Kids can pick songs (review)
  22. 100 Days Goal-toy or group party
  23. Playing along with the practice tape (You'll have to tune the instrument to the tape) 
  24. Having both an older child and younger child in the program-there has been some positive things occurring when they take turns performing for one another
  25. After certain number of days of practice-the family celebrates with pizza
  26. Treasure Hunt
  27. Keep to a schedule. Pick a time that is most consistently free of conflicts.
  28. Perform for grandparents
  29. Try to practice when they're not tired.
  30. Make a list of what needs to be practiced, let child pick order during practice
  31. Realize that not all practices are going to be good or bad-enjoy the experience.
  32. Have child practice with other parent
  33. Have child perform for visitor
  34. For older child....have teacher talk about what's important during practice and have student call teacher when practice is completed.

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