Creative Child

7 Ways to Inspire a Child to Practice an Instrument (Without Tears)

by Deborah Song


4. Instill a reward system.

Slow gratification is anathema for a child. Kids want now. So a reward system is an absolute necessity for the continued practice and dedication to an instrument. The system can be as simple as keeping a tally of how many times they played a song well. It makes an immediate impact to see the tally marks build up. Rewards should be tailored to the child's interest and age, and doesn't always have to involve music.

Check out these toys that your young musicians will just love.

5. Practice in chunks.

Whether your child is practicing for five minutes or a couple of hours each day, break out a song into segments.This makes learning a new song less intimidating. Breaking passages down to smaller segments also helps kids see more instant results.

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6. Try a different time of day.

We all have our productive hours. If you're having trouble coaxing your child into after-school practice, try the mornings. I used to find morning practices calming. It was also an easier time to focus than after school when so many other things were vying for my attention.

7. Let them shine.

Get a pulse for what audience size your child responds well too. Then invite some family members and friends, provide refreshments and let your child show off. They'll feel empowered and encouraged to hear the applause and compliments come from people other than mom and dad.

Deborah Song is the founder of, a cruelty-free company committed to creating travel accessories that help travelers journey with ease, efficiency and elegance. She loves to travel the globe in pursuit of good food, wider life perspectives and great adventure stories with her kids. Deborah is a Canadian-born, mompreneur and Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master’s in journalism from New York University. You can find her travel stories at

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