Has your child lost interested in playing their instrument? Are practice sessions at home getting harder to maintain? 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 strategies 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 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. Here are some of my favorites:

Piano

Anderson & Roe Piano Duo: Libertango

Anderson & Roe Piano Duo: Flight of the Bumblebee

The Piano Guys: Titanium/Pavane

Brooklyn Duo: Bohemian Rhapsody

Slightly Musical: Harry Potter Medley

 

‘Ukulele

Jake Shimabukuro: Over the Rainbow

James Hill: Billie Jean

‘Ukulele Festival Band: Hawai’i 5-0

Taimane Gardner at Tedx Maui

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–live music–and soon your child will be excited to play their instrument again.