Updated: Mar 22, 2020
Have you ever heard of the saying, "Practice Makes Perfect"? Well I will tell you right now, it doesn't! Practice makes "permanent" so if your kids are practicing incorrectly, then that is what their playing will be; Incorrect. There is nothing more frustrating then thinking you are practicing for hours and thinking that you are progressing but in reality, you are just setting and resetting movements on your instrument that do not work and never will. Trust me... I've been there. As a kid I had no idea how to practice and I was not taught correctly so I had to relearn the violin later in life. This situation has actually made me a better violinist and teacher. When I finally found an amazing teacher (I will thank you right now Professor Dan Rains from Cleveland State University!!) it was like I had been standing for years in a pitch black room and a light switch was finally turned on. I love the violin and that one teacher, Dan, changed my life!
I mean, let's face it. When we are born, we do not know how to play a musical instrument. This is not a skill that is like... say... breathing... We must be shown how to do it correctly and then go home and work on the correct movements. So, if you are wondering how many minutes your child should practice, I would say wonder how well your child is practicing.
Now, as a parent, how do we deal with how well your child is practicing if the parent doesn't know how to play an instrument? Well, I came up with an idea. If you watch one of my videos with your child and go through the warm up for 5 minutes, I will talk you through and explain the movements that need to be happening in order to play the violin correctly. Follow along, for just 5 minutes. Warm up #1 - I will go through; setting the bow hold, setting the violin, positioning the right arm and pulling the bow. Even if your child has been playing for a while, have her or him do this every day. Even learned skills need to be maintained and understood.
I have different levels of warm ups from beginner to advanced so take advantage of these. Warm ups are an extremely important part of practicing! This will set the tone of your entire practice session. So head over to the video blog and check out those sessions! I'll see you there :)