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Strategies for supporting your child’s talent

Strategies for supporting your child’s talent

Many view unlocking the talent in their child much like opening a magical treasure chest. You simply open it and let the world see the many gifts your child has to offer. However, that doesn’t normally happen and the realization that it takes hard work and dedication is something that can be hard to realize – and not for the child! At a young age we start to establish our routines and hobbies.

We learn many new things, we grow, we fail, and we move on. Parents, on the other hand, sometimes forget that this is a journey. The parents sometimes forget learning to walk, using a spoon, a new phone, or learning multiplication tables. The quality of patience is sometimes lost.

Most children show aptitude for the arts. This is simply because the arts are part of what makes us human. We at Cadenza believe everyone has some talent – the trick is how hard they want to improve it. Children may start to write diaries with poems and song lyrics, compose songs, play any musical instrument they can get their hands on, role play and create wonderful performance fantasies.

They usually start to do such activities at home. Parents are the first who get to observe these performances and should be responsible in attending to what may be their children’s passion. The trick is to measure that excitement with reality. Yes, your child may be the next Mozart, but it will still be a long road and a lot of work!

A study reported that parents play a singularly important role in a child’s journey in developing their musical talent. Think of the great musician and composer Johann Sebastian Bach. He wouldn’t be able to explore his musical gift without the substantial support of his father who was also a musician.

Although it clearly runs in Johann and his sibling’s genes, the journey to music wouldn’t be possible without his father’s guidance. The same can be said of Mozart. There are, however, countless composers and performers that did not have musically experienced parents. You’re not required to be a musically inclined parent to attend to your child’s needs in developing his talent. You just need these 3 strategies to help your child unlock and nurture his/her musical gift. Become a practice partner. You have to be receptive and show interest. You can sit beside your child and listen any time of the day. Sometimes your presence is what motivates and encourages your child to effectively play the instrument. You can play the instrument along with them as they learn or just be their audience. Even sitting in the room reading a book, studying, or doing your own work (not on your phone) is a good measure of how seriously you take this.

Praise and Encourage. Give credit after your child has showcased their musical talent, no matter how beginning. When they are encouraged after they have done their best is very fulfilling (we still feel this way as adults). Showing appreciation even in the smallest efforts of our children encourages them to do better and better. You don’t always have to be critical and point out their mistakes – most likely, they know them already! They will get bored with lukewarm or unsubstantiated praise so be honest!

Be A Role Model. Showing your child that you appreciate music is extremely helpful. If you express to them in action that it’s important to you, music will also inspire them. Go to concerts of professionals, play music in the home, etc. This will help them actively listen and build a strong connection with you.

As you both share and celebrate music at home, this will substantially help your child to become more focused on unlocking his or her musical talent.

Incorporating the different tips above will help you become an effective, supportive, parent and would be significant in a child’s musical life. Since they spend most of their time at home it is important to understand that your support is, literally and figuratively, instrumental in getting them to grow! All that is left is studying with a fantastic teacher at Cadenza. Start your journey today!

Piano: Establishing Good Practice Habits

Piano: Establishing Good Practice Habits

Practice time is one of the most important factors in any musical journey. For you to progress in any musical studies, consistency and efficiency are key. We’ve narrowed down seven good practice habits that children can use throughout their musical journey. What you will notice is that many of these skills help in life, too!

  •    Focus – Eliminate distractions like phones, TV, computer. Focus on the music.
  •    Slow practice – be deliberate and on purpose. Practice does not make perfect, practice    makes permanent. So, be smart!
  •    Detail oriented – have a goal and work towards that goal.
  •    Sectional practice – do not know practice what you know. Practice what you don’t know.
  •    Practicing all Assignments – Don’t leave something out just because it is hard. Do something easy and short to warm up, but use the energy as soon as possible to get to the hard stuff. Don’t wait.
  •    Record/Listen/Evaluate Performance – Record your practices and listen to them. You’ll notice wasted time, bad choices, improvements, and an overall sense of how good you are at practicing.
  •    Consistent – Make practicing a habit. You will learn to love practicing!

 

How to make practice a habit?

It usually takes two to four weeks for a person to make something a habit. Though good habits can be a bit challenging and hard to establish, it’s the bad habits that are harder to get rid of. Setting a goal and keeping a clear mindset is the best way to start forming good practice habits.

  1.    To make your practice more effective and organized, make use of the practice charts and   assignments for you to keep track of the flow of your practice and stay accountable.
  1.    Looking at the bigger picture to track practice can help make you more detail oriented. Understanding your overall goal and the steps for how to get there are what practicing is about. Mark off each day, or section you’ve accomplished, so you can see your progress.
  1.    Ask your teacher for practice flowchart that will serve as your guide as well as bring additional ideas (hand stretching, duration, how many times, cool down, etc.).
  1.    Keep the piano, sheet music, theory books, clean organized and easily located. Keep your rehearsal space clean.
  1.    Keep your references open, organized, and close to you.
  1.    Make a list of practice techniques that you think will work with your structured practice plan. This is another reason your teacher is valuable, they have lots of ideas!
  1.    If you’re ready to play a song, record it, listen to it, and evaluate yourself. Listen for mistakes, nonmusical tempo changes, etc. Next time work on just those parts. Don’t rehearse what is going well – you don’t need it.

 

If you follow these effective practice habits, you will notice a rapid increase in proficiency and overall growth in musicianship.

We are here to help! Book a free consultation with Cadenza Music Academy now! or Send us an email at [email protected].com or call us at 949-416-2355.