Teachers’ Corner by Sara Mastrangelo

Every autumn, families settle into a routine.  Violin and guitar lessons, ballet classes, homework, soccer; it all gets juggled around like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.  Ride-sharing and bus schedules, lunch packing and dinner planning.  Where did the summer go?

This fall, I encourage families to take a moment.  Think about where you are spending your time and where your children are spending theirs.  Is everything we are doing necessary?  Are there ways to simplify life?  Is there time in your child’s day where they can just be kids and play, read a book, or daydream?  Numerous studies say that boredom fosters creativity.  Does your child  have time to be bored sometimes or is every single minute of their day accounted for?

Now take a moment to envision your child being the best they can be at their instrument.  What will it take for this to happen?  Does the schedule need to be cleared out a bit?  Do bedtimes need to be adjusted?  Are clear goals being set?  The practice environment should be free of distractions and comfortable.  Here, structured practice time is fruitful.

Children thrive in a routine that includes regular practice habits and also free time.  They will continue to amaze us as parents and teachers!