How should parents support lessons at home?

For more on practice and how to practice with your violinist, see here

The best help from parents is help with the discipline of practice. It is far better to practice a little bit each day, than in large chunks of time only a few times a week!

Just like anything that requires a bit of discipline (brushing teeth, bedtime!), younger students may not be excited about practicing every single day, or be proactive about suggesting practice.  We admit that even professionals aren’t always, either!  Supporting regular practice won’t mean that your student will feel “forced” or even have a negative experience playing.  In fact, supporting regular practice at home in a positive way usually means the student has a more rewarding experience overall.  If you feel that reminders to practice or joint practice efforts are becoming a negative experience, it is important to discuss that right away with your teacher- there are all kinds of ways to create a positive experience and sometimes a little shift in technique is all that is needed!

I usually recommend that beginners practice daily, one minute per year of age, and then as the student advances we continually adjust that time for schedules, focus, etc.  Usually, the toughest part is just getting the instrument out and getting started!

Young students should not be expected to practice on their own, nor should they be expected to keep track of how long they are practicing. Egg timers are fantastic practice aids, and parents are fantastic help!

Remember, you’ll get more out of each lesson if the student has done as much as they can at home. Think of lessons as a way to facilitate progress at home: I only get to see your student one hour or half hour for every 167 they’re at home!

All that said, more practice is not necessarily better practice. If your student is at the level of ability that the expectation is to practice several hours a day, we can talk about techniques and strategies for getting the most out of the time (healthfully/without injury)!

If you have any questions about how to practice at home, don’t hesitate to ask! Also, questions during the week are always welcome, so feel free to email or call!