Build Motivation to Practice

For beginners and non-beginners, the idea of practice can sometimes seem like a dreadful and boring task. But what is practice? And how can we make practice more motivating? When you say, “go practice” there are many tasks that can occur in this practice time. “Practice” is a vague blanket statement for what a person should exercise in order to accomplish their goal. The problem we will tackle today is how we generate motivation to practice. And to follow up, we will also tackle the idea of how to practice to get results.

Motivation! This is probably the most difficult hurdle to get things going! How do we create this sense in ourselves to set time in our day to sit at the piano and practice?

The easiest way is the power of incentives! Especially for younger musicians, incentives like special treats, stickers, and other rewards can be just the thing to start motivation. We love being rewarded for our hard work! Here at the piano academy we have 2 practice incentive programs that encourages students to practice regularly. For group classes we have The 88’s Club and for everyone else we have The Music Mall. Ask your teacher about our practice programs if you are interested!

Performing is also a great motivator for practice! No one wants to be the one on stage, in-front of a large audience, feeling unprepared and lacking confidence. To ensure we have as little negative feelings as possible when we walk on stage, we practice to ensure our mentality, concentration, and muscle memory know our music so well that little mistakes won’t throw the entire performance away. The only fool proof way to do this is practice! Ask your teacher about performance opportunities! You will see the amount of practice increase dramatically as performance day arrives.

Let’s finish with one more motivator: The power of choice!!! Everyone is told what to do all the time and that can get tiring! Help your child be more engaged and involved with practicing by letting them choose when they want to practice that day. Simply ask, “When would you like to practice piano today?” All you have to do is make sure they follow through with their set time because they chose this time to practice, they should feel responsible to their obligations. Don’t just stop there, during the start of their practice, ask them “What piece(s) will you be practicing?” This way you help your child to focus their practice time on something concrete rather than hearing them rashly play through all their pieces. Lastly, ask them “What would you like to be able to do by the end of your practice? Meaning, what goal(s) do they want to master this practice. This one is a little tricky, you might want to help direct them. For example, by the end of practice, I would like to be able to play my right hand from beginning to end without stopping! Or I want to play half of the piece hands together by the end of practice. Whatever seems attainable at their stage of learning the piece would make a good goal. Help them choose something small and easy to master during this practice time. We don’t want them to feel like the goal they chose to tackle will take hours, at least 5-10 minutes for younger beginners or 10-15 minutes for late beginners to intermediate.

What we hope will come out of this, is the idea of self improvement and the satisfaction of accomplishing big and small goals will be enough of an incentive for ourselves to continue our practice towards mastery!! Stickers and candy rewards holds its affects for only so long, but this is a good way to get things going! Next post we will further explore effective practice techniques during the practice session. Read more for other ideas by clicking on this article! >>>>>>