Confidence is built on praise, and your children are always seeking your encouragement. Let them know how proud they make you by showing a real interest in their progress and achievements. Listen carefully and pay attention to the things they enjoy, and let them know how important they are to you. Children flourish in a positive environment, and they love nothing more than getting a thumbs up and a ‘well done’ from you!
Help them to practise to build their confidence
One of the most common problems we see as music teachers is children that don’t know how to practise. We set them work to do each week, but spend the majority of the next lesson recapping and revisiting ideas taught previously. Here’s how you can help:
- Show an interest in their learning. Children are always eager to please. If they know that you are keen to hear their latest piece, they will practise it until they know it will impress you
- Set aside times to practise. Children need help to structure their time. It’s no good telling them they need to do more practise, if they do not know when to practise. Little and often is the best approach – try to do 10 minutes every morning after breakfast, or 15 minutes in the evening before they can play on the iPad
- Read their teacher’s notes. Most teachers will give detailed instructions of what needs to be practised. Help your child to work methodically through the list – not just focusing on the thing they enjoy the most, or find the easiest
- Ask their teacher for feedback about how effective their practise is, and if there’s anything they need to practise more
- Look on Youtube for the pieces your child is practising. Listening to other people playing them can provide lots of inspiration and motivation for them!
Support them in performance
- Ask them to put on a concert for you at home, and always attend their school assemblies
- If they are given the chance to play in a band, say yes
- If they are offered a slot in a Christmas concert, be sure to agree
- And if they’re encouraged to enter an exam or competition, be behind them all the way
Having something to work towards and make them a little nervous can do wonders for their confidence. Overcoming nerves to perform in front of people can feel wonderfully liberating, and therefore give them such a brilliant sense of achievement. For tips on overcoming performance nerves, click here. Clap and cheer when they put their hearts into a performance.
Following all 10 steps will create a home that is full of music and laughter!
Sing like nobody’s listening, dance like nobody’s watching, and enjoy every moment making musical memories with your children.
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