It’s Summer, and for most folks, that means different schedules, fun family outings, vacations, and summer camps. It can also mean music lesson practice goes right out the window. Let’s face it, the school year routine is just that, the routine we all keep while school is in session. So what do you do when your regular, everyday plans get, um, lazy? Let’s chat, you and I, about how to keep those expensive musical skills sharp while you’re on Summer break.
- Change it up. Instead of the routine “sit down and practice”, have the kiddos teach YOU something. Let them be your teacher and not only will you have a TON of fun, you just might learn something in the process.
- Have a sing along. Music is communal, it is tribal, and it’s really meant to be shared with other people (think about the last concert you attended, singing along with 20,000 of your closest friends). Get the family involved and have a sing along at the piano or have a karaoke night on Youtube.
- Invite their friends over for a concert. Whether they’ll admit to it or not, kids like to perform. Hold a mini concert for their friends, and see if any friends want to perform as well. Not many friends around? Use the next family cookout as a stage. This motivates students to practice but also keeps performance a low key and fun experience.
- Download some fun music games on your tablet. Practice doesn’t have to take place at the piano. There are tons of great flashcard and theory games available for iPad or Android tablets that are perfect for brushing up skills on car or plane trips. Check out Ultimate Music Theory, Note Rush, or Easy Music.
- Worksheets. Ask your teacher for some fun Theory worksheets to do over the summer. These might sound boring, but they can serve many purposes like music math, note spelling, music notation, and even music history. Not to mention coloring, did I miss that? Who doesn’t love to color!
Now that you’ve got a few ideas for keeping those skills fresh over the Summer, don’t forget to relax your expectations, too. When we adjust our practice habits, we adjust our outcomes. We have all school year to achieve lofty goals, so while we’re enjoying the summer summer summer time (you know you sang that a la Will Smith, or maybe that’s just me) remember to enjoy whatever music is made and have FUN!