From time to time I get a 6 or 7 year old beginning student who loves to come for violin lessons but isn't motivated to practice at home. I've tried several things to motivate these kids, and I'd like to learn more.
If a parent can help the kid practice, that generally helps, but it's not always possible.
Keeping a practice log to keep the student on track can be helpful. I set it up so that the student records the number of minutes he practices each day, with a goal of a specified total number of minutes per week. If the student meets the goal, I give him a sticker. A certain number of stickers translates to a music-related reward from the parents.
Giving stickers at lessons for a job well done is helpful, too.
It's good to have a goal to work towards. This could be playing something with a school orchestra (but there generally aren't school orchestras for kids this young), playing with a friend, preparing some music to play for Grandma (or some supportive adult). Suzuki advocated "home concerts" in which the kid showed a parent what he accomplished.
It might be helpful to tape the kid's playing at different time intervals so that he can hear the improvement he gets with practice.
Scheduling a time to practice every day and working it into the daily routine is good.
Any other suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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