This may sound crazy but it is the best thing that ever happened to my students and my own son on the practicing front!!
The idea is simple: you practice every day without missing a day (excluding lesson and group days if you want) and mark each day on a chart up to 100 days. If the student is away (on an airplane only!) or very sick one day, they can complete their practice via listening repeatedly to the recording that day (always a great idea any day!!). There can be special small prizes for each milestone of 25, 50, 75 and of course…100 days! My students in years past have been treated to a personal ice-cream date with me upon reaching 100 days of practice, and certificates, ribbons, and medals for the other milestones. My younger son wants a lego from target upon reaching his goal, and I am happy to oblige if we do indeed have 100 days of less difficult (hoping…) practice.
What I have found from doing this with my older son is that once you take away the option of not practicing, it is SO MUCH EASIER to make it happen every day. The more days the child plays consistently, the easier the routine becomes, the more motivated he/she feels, the
easier it is to play, the happier the whole practice dynamic is……and before you realize it you have a consistent practice routine happening in your house and a much happier and more motivated young musician!!
A few ways to do this:
- make a chart with 10 rows of 10 boxes for your child to mark off or put stickers in
- have your child write the number of each day on a special paper
- mark a calendar with a music sticker for every day your child plays
NOTE: on those super busy, over-tired days the child just needs to play SOMETHING on the instrument….this is much better than missing the practice, so just go with it and don’t get worked up that it wasn’t a “real” practice. Doing 100 days of practice stresses consistency above all and the message that practicing every day is part of family life.
GOOD LUCK! You won’t believe where your child (and you) will be after 100 days……….!!