Happy New Year! If your New Year’s Resolution included anything about reigniting you or your student’s excitement for music lessons, you’re in the right place.
Remember how exciting it felt to start learning an instrument? Bringing back those feelings is easier than you might think.
Here are four easy tips to guarantee you start 2022 with more enthusiasm and more music!
New Year, new practice spot. Sometimes learning in a new space is all it takes to help motivate a learner to start practicing again. So if your student usually practices in their bedroom, try moving to the living room, or even outside if the weather permits.
Of course, a location change might not be possible for students learning a larger instrument like the piano, in which case a time swap might be just what they need. Simply moving from afternoon practice to an evening schedule can be enough of a change to make a difference.
Not from practice, (obviously!) but the type of practice. Yes, you or your student might have a recital, performance, or even audition coming up, making it important to master that tricky piece. But if you sense a learning slump coming on, it’s okay to take a break and practice something new.
Encourage your student to take a break by practicing their favorite songs, reviewing past techniques, or even starting an entirely new piece based solely on their interests. Our brains are wired to need variety in order to stay motivated, and a break doesn’t always mean stopping, just adapting.
Seeing someone else perform the skill you or your student is trying to master can be an excellent motivator. And while we always encourage our students to attend as many live musical performances as possible, we know that’s not always feasible.
Fortunately, spending time watching YouTube videos, movies, or even short clips on social media can help kickstart those same feelings of excitement. Dedicate some time to finding videos of musicians performing the pieces you’re currently learning, and have fun noticing all ways different performers interpret the music.
Mental health matters in every aspect of our lives, including our creative pursuits. It’s normal to need a little motivation boost—especially after the holidays or while learning something challenging.
But even if the need for extra motivation is perfectly normal, it’s still a good idea to check-in with your student (and yourself!) about how they are feeling in general.
Are they anxious about going back to school? Are they adapting to other life changes that might be impacting their motivation? And don’t forget the positive questions: what are they currently most excited about, or what can they look forward to in the near future?
Taking time to express emotions and receive validation is important for staying engaged in any learning activity, and more importantly, it’s a great way to maintain and improve relationships. So take the time for regular mental health moments as you navigate learning a new instrument or skill.
Whether you or your student are beginning lessons, starting again after a hiatus, or just hoping to stay motivated for the upcoming year, we hope these tips help you start your 2022 excited and motivated to learn. See you soon!