1. Realize that you/your child will never play an instrument well without practicing.
2. Encourage siblings and friends to respect practice time as something special, not to be interrupted.
3. The first lesson is very special. Carry the excitement of that lesson into practice time.
4. Practice on the day after the lesson is important to avoid forgetting things that were done and said in the lesson.
5. Practice is not always playing the music straight through. It may include practicing sections of a piece, working them out slowly, skipping from one part of the piece to another, playing hands separately, analyzing, memorizing, and working on details such as dynamics and articulation.
6. Practice may include playing things for fun (as well as playing the assigned lesson).
7. Emphasize the importance of music study and avoid, if at all possible, switching lessons or practice time for social activities.
8. Lack of practice is not an acceptable excuse for missing a lesson. The lesson is needed more than ever.
9. Accept the fact that students practice for a variety of reasons, including rewards, consequences (can’t play or watch TV until practice is done), human relationships (to please others, get attention), feelings of self-worth (to be as good as others) and inherent joy (love of music and the reward of doing it well).
10. Accept the fact that most kids do not always like to practice. If the child doesn’t want to practice, acknowledge those feelings. Agree that he/she may not want to do it, but try to explain the benefits to reorient him/her. Practicing is a discipline that carries over into many aspects of daily life.
11. Expect some frustration from your child-tears are sometimes unavoidable. Expect good days and bad days.
12. Work to avoid tension from practice carrying over into other parts of daily life.