Q: My child recently began music lessons and is experiencing difficultly with committing to a 20 - 30 minute per day practice routine as suggested by his teacher. How can I encourage my child to focus on his practice?

A: We recommend that instead of approaching the issue from a "practice time" standpoint, that you consider outlining the lesson assigned and urge the student to play each part of the lesson outline multiple times. For example, if the student is required to learn a particular song or exercise, they should commit to playing that piece a designated number of times per day (3 or 4 times is usually sufficient especially for a younger child). This method will allow the student to concentrate more on the assignment and focus on completing the task successfully as opposed to constantly watching the clock in anticipation for the practice period to end.