Today we are kicking off a new segment called “HOW TO PRACTICE WITH KIDS”. For the next several weeks, we will have a new tip each week of how to improve you or your child’s practicing. Take note, these tips are not just for kids! I have found that they work just fine for me, my husband and my adult students as well.
Let’s start with a little bit of luxury.
Hahaha. I bet you didn’t think that that was where we were going to start, did you?
Hear me out.
Associating pleasantries with mundane or “boring” experiences can essentially rewire our brains to enjoy them. Whether you fix a favorite drink to have nearby or always put on your comfiest clothes before practice, a little luxury can completely alter the experience.
Consistency is key with these little bits of luxury. Having a delicious lemonade nearby can break up when your mind and body need a break and re-engage your taste which can remind your body that you are enjoying this experience! Wearing your favorite sweats every time you sit down to practice your guitar can remind your body that this is a happy time.
For my five year old, her bit of luxury is running. (only a five year old, am I right?) Every time she plays a song clear through, she gets to run around the kitchen in a circle. Then she takes a sip of her drink of choice and quickly plops right back down to the piano. Breaking up her practicing experience is key for her! Forcing her to sit still on a piano bench for 20 minutes straight isn’t only uncomfortable but impossible!
My seven year olds luxurious ritual is putting on her Vamperina slippers. Something about those slippers make her feel comfortable and she can hone in on what she is supposed to be doing.
Some other little luxuries to add to practicing could be:
-adjusting the lighting to your preferred brightness
-choosing a comfy seat to sit in
-if the instrument allows it, splurging on a pic that makes you smile, a bow that brings you joy or a music binder that makes you happy
-investing in a nice lotion to moisten up the hands (and maybe give a little hand massage to the kiddos) before beginning practice
-picking a “pump up” song to play to get ready to start your practicing session
What other ideas do you have for little luxuries to add to practicing? Let us know in the comments!