August 07, 2020
How to Support Student Musicians Stuck at Home
Whether it’s a covid-related school closures, unforeseen circumstances like illnesses or families moving mid-way through the school semester, every student musician will find themselves unable to engage in their usual routines at some point. Your child might work hard to practice regularly and try their best in their school music program, but they’ll run the risk of losing momentum and interest in music if they’re stuck at home for too long without a solid plan to follow. To help, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to keep music students engaged and active for however long they’re stuck at home:
Set up a dedicated practice space
Our first tip is something many parents don’t think about, but it can keep your child musically focused and active. Designating a regular practice space for your child shows you’re serious about their musical interest. By removing distractions and setting up a place that’s completely dedicated to your child’s music practice, you’ll be giving them a consistent place for them to practice, experiment, and explore music. Dedicated practice spaces should be clean, provide easy access to instruments, equipment, and learning materials, and be free of distractions like pets, siblings, and screens.
Encourage them to learn something new and fun
The challenging material your child usually takes on in their school music programs shouldn’t be neglected when they’re stuck at home. However, giving them new and fun music to learn can help maintain their interest and keep them playing. During difficult times of transition, uncertainty, or even boredom, encouraging your child to learn how to play songs from their favorite artists can be far more beneficial than pressing them to go through the motions of their regular practice routine. There are plenty of excellent instructional book and sheet music options available for student musicians of every age and experience level to explore.
Make sure their instrument is working correctly
Many student musicians fail to thrive at home in their music practices because their instruments aren’t working the way they should. This is especially common for young music students who don’t have much musical experience under their belts. Something as simple as a broken guitar string or sticky clarinet pad can keep a child from practicing at home and maintaining what they’ve learned in their school music program. The Repair Shop at Music & Arts is staffed with friendly instrument repair and maintenance experts. They will diagnose what’s happening with your child’s instrument and get it repaired fast to get your budding musician back on the right track and practicing from home.
Explore a new app or software program with them
For many parents, screens are a constant point of frustration between them and their music students. But the truth is that technology is becoming a crucial way for students to access and explore music. Everything from digital software programs to smartphone apps are helping modern music students learn music theory, create and record songs, and forge a deeper connection with their instruments. Offering your child a fun new software program or app can reignite their musical interest and support them while they’re stuck at home.
Enroll them in online lessons
Modern video and sound technology makes it easy for kids to take music lessons from home. All you’ll need is a computer and an internet connection. Online lessons are an incredible way to develop your child’s connection with music without having to leave the house. During uncertain times when we’re all adjusting to a new normal, online lessons give kids consistency and the chance to thrive through music. Expert music educators teaching online can reinforce and further material taught in your child’s school music program. They can also teach genres like rock, pop, jazz, and R&B on a variety of instruments.
Give them at-home performance opportunities
Special performances don’t have to take place at recitals and music venues. With a little creativity, you can create unique and rewarding performance opportunities for your child at home. From encouraging your child to perform a few songs during dinner to Zoom concerts with their friends, at-home performances give kids goals to strive for and opportunities to shine. Parents and siblings can join with homemade instruments, singing, and dancing.
Spending long and unexpected stretches of time at home is a drag for kids and parents alike. But by prioritizing music in your house and making it as fun and rewarding as possible, your child can use their time at home to deepen their creative and intellectual connections with music.