Learning a musical instrument is unlike almost any other endeavor a young child attempts. Virtually no other activity requires the same kind of weekly instruction, the intense individual effort that must continue over a period of several years, and, most of all, the daily practice that is so essential to learning to play an instrument.
Practice should be part of a regular, preferably daily routine.It is better to practice in routine small chunks than in sporadic, intense, long bursts. The brain simply processes musical information better that way.
To be effective, practice has to be viewed as a primary activity, like doing homework, eating lunch, or going to school. Daily practice is not an easy habit and children need to be reminded and encouraged to practice their instruments, just as they need to be reminded to brush their teeth or do their homework. One effective solution that works for some families (but certainly not for everyone) is for the child to practice in the morning before school. Just as with exercise, this gets the job done and out of the way. If there is time for more practice later in the day, great. If not, at least the minimum practice requirements have been met.
Rehearsal Attendance & Commitment:
Students in 5th grade band are expected to attend every after school rehearsal as part of their class requirement. The purpose of rehearsal is to give the band complete security and accuracy in performance, and to enable it to play with commitment and sincerity.
The purpose of rehearsal is to also put the big picture together, refine and fine tune everything, take it to our best performance level and beyond. When children are able to accomplish this, they feel confident, proud, and build team relationships and camaraderie far beyond just playing music.