Music practice frustrations

In this last week of musical instrument practice, we’ve been changing focus a little.  So far, we haven’t been too fussed about actual practice technique.  The kids have some natural talent, so that they have been able to get by with some practice only.   Talent can seem like a gift, but it’s a double edged sword – a day will come when they need to actually work extra hard to get a passage/piece right, and not right just once, but master it.  And that’s when major frustration sets in.  

So in the last few practises, we’ve tried to get them to repeat passages or commit the designated piece to memory until they got it right 3 times in a row.  It was hard.  For both the kids and the parents!

I could see the concentration and effort put in by our 7yo daughter but she eventually learnt some phrases she’s been having problems with and it paid off.  Just have to watch the time spent on this next time as we did go a bit over and it gets less productive the more tired and frustrated they get.

But with our 9yo, she tried to commit a new piece to memory, and she was trying so hard but just couldn’t get some bits right all the time – so much so that her eyes started to well up with tears 😦   We decided it was time to stop the practice session then, chill out and come back to it another day.

It’s hard to be supportive, yet directive in the kids practice.   I want to push them just a little bit more so that they realise what they are capable of, and to learn that it often takes a bit of hard work to get somewhere.  But at the same time, they’re just kids, and it’s just music…

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