Is your child irritable for practice sessions? Are they tired or cranky? The time of day may be a factor in why you are getting less cooperation. What is the best time of day to practice?
The short answer to this is that I don’t know what the best time of day to practice is! It varies so much from family to family. Let’s talk over options and make sure that you are really choosing the time that will work best for you.
Many of my families find the most success in the morning. If this is a possibility for you, it often is a time where we can have the most focus. Can you fit practice in before you go about your day? For some students it isn’t a good time because the morning is rushed and chaotic. Or maybe school starts too early to make this feasible.
When thinking about what time of day is going to work best for you, consider what is going to create an environment of calm for learning. When teachers are leading Suzuki Early Childhood classes, we strive for an environment of calm because it helps maximize the learning potential. The same goes for our violin practice. If the morning is not a calm time for you, what would be a calm part of your day.
Probably the most popular time, the afternoon or after school can work well for many families. If you are practicing after the school day, it’s good to consider a little down time before you start practice. Maybe a snack and reading a book together to get into the right frame of mind. It’s good to think of your practice as part of your homework routine. Practice can even be something that helps break up your child’s homework. Tying homework and practice together can help to create a lifelong habit.
Breaking up your practice is also a great option. Maybe you do a small practice in the morning and a small practice in the afternoon. We often recommend this type of short often practice for preschool age children, but there is no reason it doesn’t work well for any age. I know for myself that I focus well for about 45 mins and then I need a break. Breaking up practice helps me get more done!
Often practice gets shoved into the evenings if we have busy afternoons. While this is probably the least ideal time, getting the practice in is what is most important. On days where possible, it would be better to try to get a later time. Often young brains have spent so much time during the day learning, they are just ready for rest!
No matter what time of day, what is most important is that practice is become a regular part of your day. Find what works best for your family and it’s the right time of day!
Thanks for joining me on this Adventure in Suzuki Parenting and happy practicing!