My kids (14 and 11 years old) have been playing the piano for approximately 5 years. They have weekly lessons and then we spend the rest of the week arguing over when, how and for how long they are going to practice.
It is a harrowing process and my normally easy going children turn into master negoatiators, quibbling over when they are going to practice and the exact amount of time that they will devote to the exercise. Their favorite technique is to punch in the dreaded number of minutes into the timer on the microwave and then w-a-l-k… v-e-r-y…s-l-o-w-l-y to the piano and do a pre-playing stretch to eat up more timed minutes.
Now is the fun over when they start the actual practice. One time I was out of the room and heard rather odd music, and believe me, I’m using the term loosely. I walked over to see what was going on and was rather stunned to see my then 9-year-old son playing the piano with his foot. Yes, foot. That thing that is at the end of his leg.
But last month I read an article about how to get your kids to practice music without tears or tantrums. Because I like to avoid tears and tantrums, as well as my own imminent nervous breakdown, I decided to use the tips that were offered.
Click through for a recap of the tips for getting your kid to practice and what happened when I used it with my kids.