We must be aware that every learner has a period when he or she simply does not want to practice. This applies to everyone, without exception, both those who are always passionate about their exercises and those who sat down with the instrument without much enthusiasm. Such periods are passed not only by children but also by the elderly. There can be many reasons for this, but the most common cause is plain fatigue. If, say, a child for about 3 or 4 years regularly exercises every day for, say, two hours a day, he has the right to feel tired and bored with what he does every day.
You have to take into account that exercises such as scales, passages, etudes or exercises are not the most pleasant. It is always much more fun to play what we already know and like than what is our duty and, in addition, we do not really like it. In such a case, a few days’ break is usually enough for everything to return to its former rhythm. It is worse when the child loses interest in the music itself. This may be due to the fact that until now it was practicing only because mum or dad wanted their child to become a musician, and now, when he grew up, he manifested and showed us his opinion. In this case, the matter is much harder to push through. Nobody can make music out of anyone, it must result from the child’s personal commitment and interest. Playing an instrument, first of all, should bring joy and pleasure to the child. Only then can we count on full success and fulfillment of our and our child’s ambitions. However, we can in some way mobilize and encourage our children to exercise. We will now discuss 10 ways to make our child want to exercise again.
1. Changing the repertoire Often the discouragement of a child from exercise results from weariness with the material, so it is worth to diversify and change it from time to time. You often have to let go of serious classical pieces or etudes aimed only at shaping the technique, and propose something more light and pleasant for the ear.
2. Go to a concert of a good pianist This is one of the better ways to motivate your child to exercise. It not only has a positive effect on the child, but also on adults. Listening to a good pianist, observing his technique and interpretation can be an ideal stimulus for greater involvement and stimulate the child’s desire to achieve the master level.
3. A visit of a friend of the musician at home Of course, not all of us have a good musician among their friends. However, if this is the case, then we are lucky and we can use it in a skillful way. A personal visit of such a guy, who will play something nice for the child, show some effective tricks, can help a lot in encouraging him to exercise.
4. We try to win something ourselves An interesting solution may be the method that I called “the teacher’s tempter”. It consists in the fact that we sit down to the instrument ourselves and try to play with one finger what our child can play well. Of course, it does not work out for us because we are laymen, so we are wrong, we add something from ourselves and it generally sounds terrible. Then, as a rule, 90% of our children will come running and say that this is not how it should be, we ask, how? The child feels important at this point that the fact that he can help us and demonstrate his abilities builds his dominant position. He shows us how the exercise should be performed. In most cases, once he sits down at the instrument, he will go with all of his present material.
5. Active involvement in the education of our child We should actively participate in his education. Talk to him about the material he is currently working on, ask if he has met a new composer that has not yet been played, which range he is practicing now, etc.
6. Praise your child Not exaggerating, of course, but it is important that we appreciate our child’s efforts and show it appropriately. If our child has been practicing a given piece for several weeks and even if the whole thing starts to sound despite minor mistakes, let us praise our child. Let’s tell him that now he’s really cool with this piece. They will feel appreciated and it will motivate them to make even greater efforts and to eliminate possible mistakes.
7. Constant contact with the teacher This is one of the most important things that we should care for as a parent. Stay in touch with our child’s teacher. Talk to him about the difficulties that our child has, and sometimes suggest an idea with a change of repertoire.
8. Possibility of performances A great motivation and, at the same time, a stimulating stimulus is the prospect of performing at school academies, participating in competitions, or performing at a festival, or even family making music, e.g. carolling. All this means that when a child wants to do his best, he spends more time exercising and is more involved.
9. Playing in a band Playing in a group with other people who play other instruments is the most fun. As a rule, children like team activities, also known as sections, more than individual lessons. Being in a band, polishing and fine-tuning a piece together is much more fun in a group than alone.
10. Listening to music Our little artist should have a properly completed library with the finest pieces performed by the best pianists. Constant contact with music, even listening to it softly while doing homework, affects the subconscious.
There is no perfect way and even the seemingly best ones do not always bring the desired effect, but we should undoubtedly not give up, because if our child has the talent and predisposition to play the piano or other instrument, we must not lose it. We, as parents, know our children best and in the event of a crisis, let’s try to develop our own ways to encourage the child to continue music education. Let’s do everything we can to make the child sit on the instrument with joy, and if it fails, it is difficult, in the end, not all of us have to be musicians.