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Any tips out there for a tween that struggles to get thru 30 minute bass practice?

Joan - posted on 06/29/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My tween has run the gammut of what he wants to do with his free time, but we keep encouraging music and sports. Now he has moved towards the bass, from piano and guitar. He opted for lessons from his piano and guitar teacher, and now is struggling to see need to practice for the assigned daily 30 practice. I wonder if he should pay, or pay partially for lesson, or pay for each complaint during practice, ... . His preferrence would be for me to set up time with friends and sit on the sofa watching tv or playing computer/ds/i-pod. Any helpful suggestions would be welcomed at this point.

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JuLeah - posted on 06/29/2011

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Sounds like he needs your help learning to finish what he starts and learning the self discipline that any life skill requires.

Not everything is fun. We eat our veggies cause they are good for us.

Sounds like he needs to learn to eat his cake before the frosting ... and might require your discipline until he develops his own.

So, there are chores, there is practice, there is whatever esle is he required to do. THEN there is TV, computer and friends. In that order.

30 minutes a day doesn't seem like much. I had a music teacher tell me that 30 minutes a day was fine if I never wanted to be very good. But, if my goal was to learn to play, I'd need to put in a bit more effort :)

Don't let him quit when things get hard or lose their luster. That is a habbit that, once established, is very hard to break.

Rebecca - posted on 07/04/2011

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I think kids benefit from trying different things. They really can't tell if a sport or an instrument suits them until they try it. I think we expect them to commit for too long a time. I know sports and music tend to be structured to require long stretches of time, but I'd like to see shorter trial periods. That can be expensive though. my child's band instructor allowed her to try several instruments before deciding on one. The teacher thought that was just part of learning. Kids have a lot of pressure with school. They can use some time to just " be." Unstructured down time can help breed creativity.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/30/2011

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If HE chose to be involved in music, and HE chose to take lessons, then HE needs to pay for said time, and practice.

The reason I emphasize "HE" is because I've seen so many parents that say "my kid wanted to be in music", but the real story is "I wanted my kid to be in music". Big, big difference.

Now, speaking from experience, my son DID choose to play the cello. I told him from the start that we'd love to have him do that, but ONLY if he could commit himself to improving. I paid 1/2 of the instrument, he paid the other 1/2. If he is practicing and improving, I pay for things like music camp, etc. If he is NOT??? He pays for it.

So, first you need to make sure that YOU are not pushing him to do something that he truly isn't very interested in. The only reason I say this is your first sentence "We keep encouraging music and sports".

JuLeah - posted on 06/29/2011

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Yah ... ear plugs? Maybe make him pay. That doesn't sound like a bad idea. The man he will grow into will thank you some day. If he chooses to have a life partner, that person will thank you too

Joan - posted on 06/29/2011

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Thanks I appreciate your honesty. I have several friends who also beleive in scheduling activities and pushing them through the-not-so-fun parts. I just question myself if I am pushing too hard. I completely agree with your comments on establishing behavior patterns. My biggest problem is how to motive him (since there is not alot of personal drive): by fear of paying, by paying regardless, ... He is required to do his chores, school work, musical practice, which helps to motivate him to get it done to earn the desired electronic time. It is the complaining that gets to me!! Thanks again!

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