Practicing: Not One-Size-Fits-All For the next two weeks, our studio is running its annual “We Love to Practice” practice contest. We encourage all of our students to rack up as many practicing minutes as they can and those who practice the most are rewarded with gift cards. Practicing is the most discussed subject in conversations...

Practicing: Not One-Size-Fits-All

For the next two weeks, our studio is running its annual “We Love to Practice” practice contest. We encourage all of our students to rack up as many practicing minutes as they can and those who practice the most are rewarded with gift cards.

Practicing is the most discussed subject in conversations with students’ parents. Usually the parents of my beginner students want to know how long their child should practice, or is their child practicing enough.

In my experience, there is no one right answer to “How long should my child practice?” Typically, 30-minute practice sessions are encouraged. However, when we think about younger students, there are a few obstacles to this standard:

  • shorter attention span
  • inability to sit still for prolonged periods of time
  • easily distracted
  • lack of understanding of practice goals

Truthfully, this could be said of students of all ages (myself included). I don’t have the attention span to sit and practice one thing for 30-minutes. I can sit and play the piano for 30-minutes, but I’m not actively practicing anything and usually am just wasting time. So how can practice time be more effective, easier to fit in and not cause a war between students and parents?

Break Up Your Practice Time

No one said you have to sit down and practice for 30 minutes at one time. Separate your goal time into manageable chunks. If you know your child cannot sit still for more than five minutes, try to practice in five minute intervals. Assign them one task to work on for five minutes and then let them go do something else. Later, give them another task to tackle for five minutes. All of these five minute sessions add up! Breaking up practice time teaches students to tackle one task or assignment at a time and allows them the opportunity to pursue a goal with a one-minded focus. This helps make practice time more effective. You also give your child a chance to get up and do something else before they start hating the song they’ve been assigned.

If you are looking for other ideas to help your student with their practice time, make sure you look at our article on practice games, and making practice time more effective!

Are you looking for some musical fun for your preschool aged child? (ages 2-5) Make sure you sign up for Music Star Studios Summer Camp! Click here for more information!

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