What role does your child play in planning for music practice to happen?
The 3 ingredients in developing a self-directed child are Competence, Autonomy and Relatedness.
In the area of planning for practice, this could be Competence in organising his time, Autonomy to decide when, what and how to practice (in consultation with a parent), and understanding how consistent practice is Related to his goals.
Yesterday, instead of determining my children's practice plan for them, I gave them a clean chart and asked them to develop their own plan. (Then I left the house for some Me Time. Haha.)
They excitedly got down to planning and handed me their practice plans, which I said I would go through the next day. Have a look! How would you respond to their proposed practice plan?
The 9 year-old's plan largely makes sense though she said she made some mistakes in planning, which we later talked through and amended.
The 6 year-old's effort shows that she needs a parent's help in planning for effective practice! It was a good experience in exercising her planning skills nonetheless!
Give a go at letting your child plan how he would like to practise. Every attempt serves up an opportunity to hold a conversation around and demonstrate to him what it means to have planning skills. His efforts won't yield a perfect plan each time and the actual music practice may not follow his plan to a T, but that is not what this exercise is about.
This is much bigger than practising the music. This is about practising how to make things happen. We all know that daily life demands much from us in this area. Our child's efforts at planning may look messy now but life throws much messier situations at us. Knowing how to come up with a messy plan is better than not having a plan at all.
Just like in music, practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. This is about nurturing a lifelong skill in putting in the work to organise your life.
Check back on this blog post to access the template.