My son is 9 and he has been complaining more and more about his music lessons lately. Just last week he said to me that he wished his mother wasn’t a music teacher! The comment wasn’t really a surprise to me. It’s not uncommon for kids to complain about the focus, discipline, and energy that is needed to stick at learning a musical instrument. So, I did some rearranging in his practise schedule and tried to come up with some interesting ways to get his mind back in the reading music mode. One thing that seemed to work was chocolate-covered peanuts, his favourite! He played two measures of a new song, hands separate, three times on each hand. He could eat a chocolate covered peanut after he played the RH three times. Then he switched to the left hand and played the two measures three times. I just popped the chocolate peanuts right into his mouth so he didn’t get chocolate on his hands. If I thought it was done well enough we moved on to the next two measures hands separate, and so on. It worked very well and he consumed an entire box of Glosettes!
This was well worth the effort because he could now actually play the song quite well hands separate, and it made him want to go back to the piano and review it regularly. The investment made early in the week of practising took a lot of pressure off as the week progressed. He was able to start putting the song hands together, two measures at a time, easily on his own. He was motivated to do it. He had learned the parts separate and now he wanted to put it all together….to finish what he started.