Successful study is a partnership between you, your child and the teachers. Many parents are eager to be partners but would like some guidance from teachers. Areas where you can support your child in vocal and instrumental tuition are:
Favourable practice conditions
As students progress in their instrumental or vocal study, they are presented with more difficult problems. The regularity and quality of their practice becomes even more important. Favourable practice conditions include:
- A scheduled daily practice time (a minimum of 10 minutes per day at the early stages, increasing as progress is made)
- A music stand and a quiet room, adequately ventilated and lit, with a comfortable temperature
- Offering praise and encouragement for work that is well done
- Keeping an eye on daily practice sessions with younger pupils
Instrumental and vocal study
Some aspects of instrumental or vocal study are learnt easily, others need intensive and repeated work. Your understanding and encouragement are vital if difficult hurdles are to be overcome. You should also try and create a musical atmosphere. Performances for friends and family, when they call round, are also a good idea.
Avoid undue stress on musical work. Trying for a balanced schedule of interests, into which music fits as a natural element, will pay big musical dividends.
Even if you are not musical your direct help in the early stages of instrumental study is vital:
- Remind your child to practice daily
- After basic warm-up exercises, remind him/her to practice the new work first
If wrong notes and hesitations keep recurring, suggest practising more slowly, in short sessions, a few bars at a time.
- Check any practice notes written by the teacher to ensure your child has understood
- Encourage your child to observe live music wherever possible.