Taken directly from Parenting Magazine (August 2013) –
Experts talk about the benefits of “deep” or “deliberate” practice, which includes repetition of a particular movement or musical passage, doing something extra slowly, and working at a level that is slightly more challenging than what you can already do. “It’s a shame we call it playing music, when it’s really work,” points out Dr. Robert Cutietta. “But if you never get over the initial hurdle of learning to play well, it’ll be hard to really enjoy it.”
Instead of practicing for a certain length of time every day, it’s more effective for your child to set specific daily goals, such as “play this measure until it sounds good,” says Dr. Cutietta. It’s also helpful to plant the seeds for longer-term goals. Taking her to a middle-school band concert may be more motivating than seeing the local philharmonic because being on that school stage seems like a realistic goal.