Musical Nest

Liven Up Music Practicing with Live Music

Is your child struggling with playing music practicing? Is your child uninspired or reluctant to practice? This is a common struggle for parents. Often, music lessons begin with excitement and the child can maintain interest for some time–first few months and maybe even a year. After some time, however, the interest wanes and that leads to difficulties with practicing.

One of the best ways to motivate your child to play their instrument is to create an environment where they are literally swimming in music. There are many ways to go about doing this, and one of the easiest is to show your child videos of people making music. Children love to imitate what they see, so if they consistently see people playing music, their interest will grow and practicing will become easier.

For instance, if your child plays the piano and they regularly see others playing the piano–whether these musicians are professionals or kids who are their age–your child will slowly absorb those images and become familiar with others enjoying playing the piano. Seeing and hearing something over and over again engenders familiarity, and that in turn breeds normalcy. When your child believes it’s normal and typical for people to enjoy making music, practicing their instrument becomes an easier task.

Because I teach piano and ‘ukulele, I recommend videos featuring the piano and ‘ukulele to my students. Whatever instrument your child plays, find videos of people playing that instrument. Remember, you must do this consistently. Don’t expect your child to watch one video and suddenly play their instrument with glee. You must show these videos regularly. Incorporate them into your family routines like watching a video every night right after dinner or before your weekly movie night. Keep it up and you will awaken your child’s desire to make music.

Here are some of my favorite videos:

Piano

1) Anderson & Roe Piano Duo: Libertango

2) Anderson & Roe Piano Duo: Flight of the Bumblebee

3) The Piano Guys: Titanium/Pavane

4) Brooklyn Duo: Bohemian Rhapsody

5) Slightly Musical: Harry Potter Medley

 

‘Ukulele

1) Jake Shimabukuro: Over the Rainbow

2) James Hill: Billie Jean

3)  ‘Ukulele Festival Band: Hawai’i 5-0

4)  Taimane Gardner at TEDxMaui

5)  Anthony Pfluke & Barry Flanagan of HAPA: Papa E

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand reminders. Instead of telling your kids to practice, show them a video of music so that they see what is possible. Instead of using words, use music.