9 Ways to help students to play an instrument

  • 21 January 2020
  • Maria


9 Ways to help students to play an instrument - images/defaultImage.jpg


1. Help student understand the Gift of Music

Show them playing a musical instrument is a special privilege and an opportunity that isn't necessarily available to everyone. Teach kids to appreciate music and all it has to offer. Help them discover that music can enhance their life. You can read here about music benefits.

2. Help student develop a love for music

Motivate them, challenge them to go to concerts or shows. Advise them to listen to music at home, and help to discover what they like. Discover together here a delightful list with music for kids.

Try to help students know the value that musical talent brings to society. I've met many adults who said to me, "I quit taking instrument lessons when I was young, and it was such a mistake. I wish I could go back and retake lessons".

3. Help them to learn the value of the practice

Convince them to set a schedule based on the reality that, "To be good, one must practice." After the child makes the schedule, then you can reinforce it, "Weiss says." I'm sure many readers would say…' yeah but will they do that day by day?' That's where the parents come in, but they have more weight in their reminder. It was the child's desire to make the goal. Additionally, the reward should be for accomplishing little goals. For example: 'practise every day this week, and we can download that song you want.' Reward the work."

4. Let them play the music they like

Students start to develop preferences for a musical style very soon influenced by tv, radio and other music sources they are most exposed to. (see above - "Help your child develop a love for music".) They will also typically gravitate to whatever their friends are listening to. Look for resources online to help them to enjoy playing the song they like. You can find a lot of sheets/scores online. Use this as a motivational strategy allowing the child to play at least one familiar/favourite song as part of their weekly practice.

MedleyNotes is a site with some free piano, violin, recorder, and flute music sheets.

5. Organise a recital/play day regular

Whether kids are aiming to set up a new band or enjoy a friendly music day with friends, playing in a group can help to improve not only their technique but also their timing and improvisational skills. Playing with or in front of other people will expose them to new ideas and methods. Also is a great way to get used with an auditorium and to receive honestly feedback on their playing style.

6. Make practice fun and constructive

Create Challenges - don't ask the child to 'practice' - they won't know what to do. Instead, give them bite-sized, clear challenges to complete. For instance; - work out a fingering for measures 12-25, work out slowly the first section of the song and gradually speed up the section to 85bpm, be able to play the left hand of the coda from memory."

Let them practice 15-20 min daily focusing on some goals rather than 1h from time to time without clear targets.

7. Overcome the identified problems

Don't let the kids just play a piece or passage over and over again, ignoring a problem area. See how he/she is going to fix it. Write down the way of practice in a notebook. You access below some tips for:

  • Effective practice.
  • Practising ideas.
  • Practice daily schedule.

8. Record your student/child and let them listen

You can do this when a song is finalised to encourage them and also to let them know you take pride in their work and enjoy listening to them during the day. You can do this also when they need to realise they still have some mistake in practice and need to solve it.

9. Ask the parents to assist their child

Parents should make a genuine interest in their child's musical journey. It's excellent idea to assist the child not just in recitals/concerts or final rehearsal but as much as possible while he/she practices. Their son or daughter will be excited to play for you and show off new skills! Assisting them, they will realise parents care about their progress, and they enjoy listening to them.