No matter how responsible your young ones are, they are still children, and they need support of the adults in their lives to help them build the new habit of home play. Your active interest and celebration of their efforts are invaluable to support them in this new and grown-up habit.
There are two things that you, as a parent, can do to increase the likelihood that your child will play on their own in between lessons. It’s simple, can be very brief, and requires no musical training on your part.
I. Show Active Interest, Without Judgement: Ask them about their lessons and what they are learning. Do your best to check in at least once during the week outside of lessons. About the sounds (or pieces, for older kids) they make and whether they are:
II. Celebrate Effort: Praise your child's focus, effort and patience with themselves after you hear them complete a lesson or home play. Tell them, if you like, what you noticed about the sounds they played (from the ideas above). Time permitting, ask them to show you what they are working on, and show interest as they do so. Even if when they explain or show something to you, it’s obviously still new for them, avoid correcting them. You can share any bits of information like this with your teacher so she can use them in lessons to support your child’s understanding.
No one in the world can give your child attention the way you and your co-parent can. Because of your unique relationship, even a small gesture of positive interest from you will amplify their will to work at something!
Elisabeth C. Swim
Playful Mindful Music Guide