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10 ways for Positive Practices

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

Ten Ways For Positive Practicing

By Christy Hodder | the Practice Pro

Music and learning to practice every day makes happier smarter children. ⁣

It’s sometimes hard though to keep those practices positive! ⁣

My name is Christy "the Practicing Pro".

Here are my top ten ways for positive practices in an easy to read list. You can also join my positive practicing group and attend my free webinar. Here you can continue to learn more about each of these 10 topics and also grab many free support resources as part of this special group.

Let's look at these 10 ways and a few of the things you can continue to look forward to learning!


Make your practIce time a natural part of everyday life in the same place and at the same time. Create a physical space that is peaceful and without distractions.

(Join my webinar session #1 to see some actual examples of families’ homes that I teach and what their practice areas look like. Learn why everyday practice is so important and the best way to be successful. I have made you some fun free downloads to help you out.)


Making time, even a few minutes, to prepare for your child's practice before they start is a priority. As humans, what we spend our time and money on is what we truly value.

(In this webinar we talk about a few easy ways for you to prepare for better practice sessions and see improvements right away.)


Children like to make their own choices. The trick is for you to master being in charge of the most important things while allowing your child to make enough choices within the structure that you have set so that they feel that they have a voice too. Being consistent with your unmovable structure and making their decisions plentiful and fun Within that space is the key. Learn how to communicate what to do in the practice time without “challenging” your child to a control battle.

(In this session, I’ll offer some free downloads to help you organize your practice time. We will talk about how to say things differently to help your child feel empowered and happier with their choices. This session is really exciting because the next day you can put what you learned into practice immediately and see the results right away!)


Be a detective! This is one of the core parts of the SECE - the Suzuki Early Childhood Education program, that I direct at the Scotia Suzuki School of Music. Does your child learn better with clear verbal instructions, showing them a small step at a time or all at once?  How difficult is it for them to do a brand new task and how big or small does it have to be? There are so many things to notice! Try to see things from THEIR perspective. Really get to know them.

(At this session, I interview a SECE instructor. He will share with you first-hand how he has seen children change from week to week as their parents have learned how to observe their children better. This session will also help you in both your personal relationships and your job) 


If there was a way to win $1 million in the lottery to make the rest of your life easier then when it comes to practicing listening to your music CD would be that million-dollar lottery won by YOU!  Figure out how to listen to your present songs and your future songs you are practicing and learning every day. Your child learns FASTER AND MORE EASILY a song that they have already heard multiple times. It's a gift for them to have it solidly in their ear before they learn and practice it. 

(In this webinar session, we are going to talk about ways families have made listening to their songs every day easier. I'll also share a wonderful story from Dr. Suzuki himself as well as some personal stories. At the end of this session, I have a special download image for anyone who likes ice cream!) 


There is a huge difference between rewards and bribes. Rewards, crafted carefully, can eventually lead a child from having extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation as they grow. Intrinsic motivation is the big goal. As parents, we want our child to begin to develop this intrinsic motivation before their teen years to be then strengthened in adulthood as a gift for their entire lives. 

(This will be a super fun session and you’ll find yourself smiling and thinking of creative things you can do at home during this session. Come ready to share in the chat an idea that you have done before that worked and I’ll have plenty of new ideas to share with you. This session ends with a really cool practicing prize that I will make specifically for the winner of a draw!)


Make appropriate goals for your child WITH your child. This way, they feel like it's THEIR goal and not yours or their teachers goal. Help them with practice charts that are effective for them. There are so many kinds! Make rewards along the way for longer goals to make them more positive, easier and fun! 

(At the end of this session, you will be equipped with some practice charts and sheets with which you’ll need to get started. You will love the results from this session!)


Dr. Suzuki said “learning equals 10,000 times repeated.” I call repetition spots little “gold nuggets.“  As a parent when you go to your child’s lesson, your job is to be a gold panner from the Yukon. If the entire lesson is the soil from the river, your job is to pan from it, gold nuggets or the bits of required repetitions to do that week at home. If you choose the right ones, your child will progress quickly with less work and effort. You can teach your child how to learn skills the quickest, easiest, and most effective way while they are young. They will be able to carry these skills with them as a natural habit when they grow up.

(In this webinar session, we will talk about how your brain can learn the fastest so that when you’re practicing, you don’t waste your time by doing things that aren’t as effective as they could be. You won't have to practice as long to improve and that feels GREAT!


Words affect us all in a powerful way! Always praise your child's work and their effort and NOT their ability. Celebrate their goals, but send them clearly the message that you don’t love them MORE when they have just accomplished something big and LESS when they have failed at something. 

(In this session, we will get to practice rephrasing common ways to praise that will give your child even more confidence and encouragement. I will give you some great lists at the end but if you understand how what you say makes a difference, then you can say motivating things naturally on your own to your children! This is a life changer!)


Help your children to love their instruments, music, and playing music. It’s not always “practice time.” Sometimes we throw all the rules and focuses out the window, let loose and JUST PLAY or DANCE ! This is a time to be completely free of correction or focusing on a task. Create situations so that all concerts feel like this and do them often. Be involved in positive music programs, schools and communities around you. Make them better because you are in them and contribute to them. 

(This is a beautiful topic for a session. We will watch a few of the highlights from Happy Music Homes and I will also share some personal videos. I'll share with you some beautiful Experiences that I’ve had. This Is my favorite session in the series and will likely be the session in which I will cry.)

INVITATION from Christy Hodder:

There you have it! My 10 ways for positive practicing. I am looking forward to seeing you again to dive into these topics with details, personal stories and resources to help you with your practicing success.

PDF download

Checklist for an Amazing Music Practice

Your easy checklist to have successful home music practices from Christy, the practicing pro. Whether you are a new or seasoned practice parent this checklist will help you organize before, during, and after practices for effective and fun practices.

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Instagram: @practicingpro

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