As I cast my mind back to my Helping Young Learners To Practise post earlier this year, I thought I’d share 3 Engaging Activities with you, to give you an idea of how you can break down the barriers of feeling like you can’t – or maybe shouldn’t – help, whilst being an active part in your child’s learning experience.
Ask your child to teach you what they have learned in their lesson, and try to play along with them.
There are three good reasons to do this.
- If you can spare the time, you’ll be able to positively engage with your child and share an amazing experience together.
- Your child will be the specialist on this occasion, so you’ll promote leadership skills, social skills, resilience and self esteem with their instrument, and no doubt themselves.
- It is widely documented that the best way to digest what we learn is to spend time teaching it to someone else. So, you’ll really enhance your child’s perspective on what they know by becoming the student.
Your goal with this approach should be to focus on being a model student. If you are awkward, challenging or sceptical you’ll almost definitely make your child question their knowledge, challenge their self esteem and the whole experience could become extremely negative. Also, if you are only a single guitar household, simply share and take turns with your child’s guitar!
Encourage performing music at home.
Showing that you have an interest in your child’s music education and their development is golden. Celebreating successes this way, no matter how big or small they may seem to you, is a great way to gear your child up with the right mindset and attitude to approach the next – more challenging – step. Further to this, despite the audience at home being potentially small, you’ll prevent your child becoming what is widely known as a ‘bedroom musician’. Music is about sharing, enjoyment, love, passion, discipline, communication and growth. So creating an arena to do this within is priceless. Performances could be with your child’s teacher – after a lesson, for example – and also between lessons without your child’s teacher.
Help your child plan their practise.
This activity, again enabling your participation in and understanding of your child’s musical life, will help your child develop their skills of planning for, preparing for and crucially working towards success. If your child doesnt have a plan or any way of understanding the direction their practise should be heading in, don’t be afraid of involving your instrumental teacher. It is the responsibility of your instrumental teacher to cater for and care for your child’s musical and instrumental journey. If your child doenst know how – or what – to practice, it is in everyones best interests to involve the teacher. They will know how to make practise fun and rewarding for your child.
To summarise, all of these activities are transferable, are applicable to any discipline and focus on growth, mindset and development. They can be taken, developed and applied to any aspect of life, especially as an adult.
Give these activities a try, and please take the time to let me know how you get on!