Make It a Habit!
Playing the violin is the most fun when student is progressing and feeling confident about their playing. Skills are developed in small increments with a lot of repetition at every step. In order for that to happen, practicing needs to happen every day. Here are some tips for getting into the habit of practicing.
1) Make it a priority. Schedule it into your and your child's day. When practice is prioritized as something that is important to do each day, it will be more likely to take place. Think of it like brushing teeth or eating - something that you do every day. Suzuki said "Only practice on the days you eat!"
2) Choose a consisitent time that is best for both you and your child to practice. If possible, go for a time when energy levels are high and both partites are feeling fresh. I recommend trying to practice in the morning before school, as after school there are other activities and homework that can make it difficult to get to. One of my friends suggests practicing between dinner and dessert.
3) Plan goals for the next day's practice at the end of every practice session . Set the goals for the next session when they are still fresh in your mind. Planning the next practice and continuing on from where you left off gives continuity to the practices and to the week. Results can be measured from day to day and then the plan for the next day can be adjusted as needed.
4) Make practice time something that you and your child look forward to. This can take a bit of planning, too. Charts, graphs and games can often make practicng more enjoyable and also keep your child on task. And, don't forget to listen to the CD, as well. This is an important step for making practice a habit because it prepares the student for the upcoming learning, in turn making it easier and more enjoyable.