Practicing is a key issue in developing students as musicians. Children normally will not do this on their own until they're in their late teens. So it is up to teacher and parents to insist. There is a very useful book that parents find helpful; it is available on Kindle on Amazon.com. You do not have to have a Kindle to read it, but can download it to your PC or laptop with the free software available on Amazon. I also have a copy in the studio, should you care to examine it:
My recommendations include the following:
- Develop a set time during the day when the student will spend 10 -20 minutes every day, with the instrument;
- Design a practice area for your child (or yourself) which includes a chair, their music stand, their music, and perhaps some decoration, like a mobile, posters, etc.;
- Remember that brushing teeth (for example), is not optional and neither is "spending some time with the instrument";
- Slower is better: slow practice is much more effective than simply running through their week's assignment without reflection;
- Most of my students have four or five books or printed materials to work on each week; please don't feel that everything has to be practiced, every practice time, but rather, divide the materials up through the week (children will need help with this):
- Remember that Suzuki-inspired lessons are very different than the lessons most of us adults had: the student/parent/teacher triangle (the "Suzuki triangle") means that everyone works together for the good of the child; parents should observe the lessons carefully (many take notes) and supervise the home practice. It's not the same, at all, as the old "drop the student off and pick them up afterwards" type of study.