Now more than ever, kids are bombarded with things seeking their attention-- video games, apps, youtube, homework, school sports, ipods, netflix, etc. As they get older and start having more 'grown up' type responsibilities, it becomes harder to just stumble upon an extra half hour to practice. It also seems trendy for parents to sign their kids up for as many activities as possible. Whatever happened to just having the time to be a bored kid left to their own creative devices?
I see my students struggling with this on a weekly basis, and I have a strategy for reeling it in. It's called, 'Anything is Better Than Zero'. The premise is that the only sure way to get worse is to not practice at all. Even five minutes is better than nothing, because your brain and body get tremendous benefit from doing. Music is a game of execution.
I'm not a fan of demanding practice from my students, I'd rather peruse the practical considerations with them instead. I usually ask, 'You'd like to get better, wouldn't you?' And they always respond yes. Then I ask them how much they indulged in the aforementioned vices. Usually it's a little bit of everything. Then we talk about which ones we can scale back on so that we can play guitar more in an effort to improve.
Now, I know some teachers and parents are reading this and saying, "Five minutes of practice?!?! No way that's gonna work." But the idea here is not to become a world class guitar player on 5 minute practice sessions, the idea is to start habits of practice that grow into a passion for the instrument. Five minutes is an extremely un-intimidating goal that can get people up and doing every day. Otherwise, people set intimidating goals that scare them into zeros every day.
Rockwell Guitar School serves St. Paul and surrounding suburbs as a provider of music instruction on Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Mandolin, and Ukelele. For more information please visit our FAQs page or call 612-568-7433.