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#33 Staying focused on your player with a “Treasure Jar”

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

By Christy | The Practicing Pro

Are you a super productive practice parent? Is your to-do list never-ending and every spare moment you sit still, you feel like you could be using it for something more important? I know I’ve definitely felt that way especially as my player got older and their pieces became longer! And though being productive and able to multitask are also really important skills, your child’s practice time is NOT the time to be thinking about or doing other things. This is a time to focus on them.

But what if my child’s practice is hard to sit through, and sometimes long stretches of listening where they don’t need you as much anymore?

If you’re bored and distracted, your child probably is, too, or they can likely tell that you are. It makes a huge difference when you are engaged and having fun WITH your child, instead of just being their audience or sitting there with your phone. How wonderful it is to have this special 30-45 minute

s a day to sit with your child and give them your focused attention! This isn’t just about them getting better at playing music. It is an opportunity for you to better your relationship with them as well.

I remember my mom sitting with me while I practiced and I was older. I loved her close and she kept me engaged and focusing better. She would knit. Honestly; I loved it.

I’ve created a special practicing activity that will help keep you and your child engaged, but will also help you connect with them over more than just practicing! It is the “Jar of Treasures”.

First, you will need to find a special jar or container (like a flower vase or a mason jar), and collect some strips of paper and a pencil. The idea is for you to fill this jar throughout the practice with fun, thoughtful, and heartfelt things that your child can open and read after practicing with you!

Here’s how it works:

Before your child does a task on their practice list - ask them which one they would like you to add to their jar, or you can also surprise them!

Write about them:

  1. "Remember when ?"

  2. A "fun fact" about them you remember

  3. “Why I love you”

Other options include:

  1. A funny moment/inside joke

  2. Something you’re excited to do together

  3. A drawing (funny/of them doing something/of you/of your home)

  4. A promise

Once your child has picked their favorite option, write down something that comes to mind while they are completing their practice task! The more tasks they complete, the more treasures are added to the jar. You can either open them up at the end of practice with your child or save them over the week(s) and have one big treasure jar opening party!

PDF Download:

Check out my Free PDF download Checklist for a Successful Music Practice for teachers and practicing parents.

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

INVITATION from Christy Hodder:

Speaking of amazing practices, let me tell you all about the digital course, the Practicing Pro Academy. This is for the serious practicing parents and music teachers and is an at-your-own-pace, step-by-step, online course to bring you more effective, positive, and fun home music practices. Registrants receive a special package in the mail from me, and I am with you in person with Q&As to answer all your questions.

Learn more about PPA and join the waitlist HERE for the next Practicing Pro Academy course. It's only offered once a year so you don't want to miss it. The registration will only open for a few weeks and I'll let everyone on the waitlist know immediately so that you can grab one of the spots.

LIKE, FOLLOW, and SHARE on Instagram and/or Facebook to be inspired and join the positive practicing music community.

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