“How much practice should my child be doing to make good progress?”
‘A little and often’ is something we constantly say to pupils’…’It’s not just how long you practise – it’s what you get done’ is another.
Pupils should play most days, establish a routine and try to stick to it so that it becomes as natural as cleaning one’s teeth before bedtime. At the outset that might be only five minutes most days. Try and find a time that works for you and your child. For some that might be first thing in the morning before school, for others that might be straight after school before dinner. What your child needs to practice will clearly and laid out in the practice sheet provided at the lesson each week.
Over time, as with homework, they will gradually build the mental stamina and focus to spend longer practicing without it being a ‘hardship’. Eventually a student studying towards grade 8 might typically spend up to an hour most days in the run up to the exam. But that’s all for the future!
As with many things in life, there is a natural ‘ebb and flow’ to practise. Don’t be too hard on your child (and yourself) if things slip a little at certain times of year – for instance the summer holidays. That said, be aware that at the times running up to examinations and assessments, it’s important to put in the preparation time to make sure they give of their best.