Students must complete their weekly assignments in order to move forward in their learning, just like in school. When assignments are not completed or practiced, students cannot present a well-learned piece, causing more time to be spent fixing mistakes that otherwise could have been avoided.
Parental involvement is key to ensuring students learn consistent and effective practicing habits. Research indicates a strong relationship between youngsters' musical growth and the direct involvement of parents. Studies have also revealed a significant relationship between the achievement of young music students and the amount of parental supervision of home practice (Barry and Hallam, 2002, p. 159).
It is important that parents stay updated on their student’s current assignments and help their student(s) record their practice time daily. I encourage parents to help students set manageable practice goals each day. For example, encourage your child to practice for 20 minutes before school and 30-40 minutes after school. Consistency and a supportive practice time results in significant progress for the student. I often require parents to participate in specific activities for the student's weekly lesson plan and trust the parents will complete these tasks. Remember, quality over quantity!!!
Note: Younger students should be prepared to practice 20 minutes minimum/day. This is a small sacrifice to make in that students will develop a skill that lasts a lifetime!
*Barry, N. H., & Hallam, S., (2002). In Practice. in Parncutt, R., &McPherson, G.E. (Eds.), The science and psychology of music performance (p. 159). New York: Oxford University Press.