Here are a few quick tips to help encourage practice at home. 

Ask your student, “What is your plan for your music today?” 

 This develops your student’s ability to manage his/her time, and encourages him or her to take ownership and initiative.  This type of question is more powerful than directing the student with,”Go practice” or “You need to practice.”  

Habit formation involves 3 keys:

    *  Cue – something that signals the behavior 

    *  Behavior – practicing!

    *  Reward – becomes associated with the cue

The goal is to create a habit loop that gets triggered each day.  The cue could be:  

Mom starts cooking dinner, family just finished eating and now it’s time for some music, an alarm goes off on the student’s phone at the same time each day. 

What do all students want?  To be noticed in a positive way!  Evidence for this is the importance that many students value getting a cell phone over getting a driver’s license.  They want to feel like what they are doing matters to someone. 

Rewards can include 1-2 positive remarks from parents such as:  “I love that song!”  or “It’s so nice to have music in our home!”   Parents can sit in the same room and read or relax as their student plays.