This article was originally posted HERE on Medium.com where Christine Goodner is a top writer in Music & Parenting.
What is the practice environment like in your house?
As a musician, and a music teacher, I know the environment we practice in has a big impact on the kind of practice we can do.
Can we focus?
Can we find something specific to improve and improve it?
Can we work through our resistance to doing the hard work?
How do we get into a state of flow where we get lost in the music and in our practice time?
If you are the parent of a young child, the practice environment is not just the room in the house where your child practices. It is not just the surroundings.
YOU are the practice environment.
This concept totally changed my perspective when I learned about it in my SECE (Suzuki Early Childhood Education) training.
As a parent, you are the practice environment. . . .
You are not responsible for your child’s attitude, their ability to focus, or their behavior.
you do set the tone, or environment for them to work in.
With my own children I found that practice went the best when:
- I was calm and relaxed (I would often make a big mug of tea and take deep breaths as needed)
- I focused on their effort, not the quality of what they were producing
- I really believed they were going to be successful over time (even if that day’s practice didn’t show evidence of improvement)
- I ended our practice sessions with something easy or fun
When we set a positive, encouraging tone to practice sessions and praise the effort students are putting out without unrealistic expectations students can relax and really get down to the work of practicing.
Practicing can be messy, it can be frustrating, and it can sometimes feel like we are spinning our wheels.
It can be overwhelming to add a high stress environment to that mix.
When we practice in a positive environment we can work through the music we’re learning and the habit’s we’re building much more effectively.
What do you need to do to improve your child’s practice environment?