You have heard it time and time again, “practice makes perfect”. However if you or your child are not practicing properly, then practice can be detrimental to your progress and development as a player. Here are a few tips that you can pass on to your child when practicing.
Stretch! Each instrumentalist has their own prep before playing. I can speak mostly for drummers when I say that stretching is very important. Just like when playing a sport, you want to give your body the prep it needs to play.
Start with an exercise that directly relates to music you want to work on that day. For example if you are working on a piece that is in the key of Bb, prep yourself by doing some Bb scales. For drummers always start with 8’s (8 eighth notes on each hand) to stretch out then do an exercise working on accent taps or doubles or meter changes. Whatever will help you prepare for the piece you are working on.
Quality over Length. Short practices everyday go a lot farther than long practices every other day. I tell my serious students to practice 15 minutes every day. Stretch, do 8’s at 2-3 different tempi, then an exercise that focuses on what they are working on that week then spend 10 minutes on a piece. I tell students to set a timer to ensure that they dont end early and are forced to use their time.
Remembering to follow these three tips; stretch, run applicable exercises, and short, quality practices) Will help to make sure you or your child are using your time wisely and becoming the best play you can be!