Music teachers and parents would be ecstatic if they could just get their children to practice their instrument more often.Â A practice mentor may just be the trick to get an extra day or two of solid practice in before your next lesson.Â What is a practice mentor?Â Usually it is an older and more advanced music student who helps a younger student practice one or two days a week.Â
Younger students love having the focused attention of an older student.Â In most cases, young students look forward to the mentoring sessions and try their best to impress the older student.Â The mentor, on the other hand, loves to demonstrate their advanced skills for the younger student.Â A mentor can empathize with the hardships of practice, and offer tips to make the practicing process easier.Â A mentor can also be an inspiration for a student just starting music lessons. If the mentor plays one or two dazzling pieces before or after each practice session, it will have a fantastic motivational effect on the younger student.Â
Parents are usually happy to pay a mentor to work with their child.Â The pay is usually half the amount of what the lessons with the teacher cost.Â In some situations, the mentor actually works for the teacher.Â The pay is put into the monthly lesson fee, and the teacher pays the mentor.Â Another arrangement is that the mentor receives free lessons in exchange for mentoring other children.Â As you can see, there are several ways to work out the financial arrangements.
The qualifications for a practice mentor would be a student who is advanced in his or her music studies, with an outgoing personality.Â The teacher should communicate with the mentor on the pieces or skills to focus on during the practice session.Â The lesson plan should be well-outlined for the mentor to follow.Â Mentors should not be teaching any new technical points, but be more of a “coach” who encourages the student through the practice plan.
If you are considering a practice mentor for your child, make sure to make the arrangements through your music teacher so that everyone is on the same page.Â It is best to try one or two mentoring sessions first to see if mentoring is a good fit for your situation.Â If it does work, it may be the key to happy practicing and rapid progress for the beginning or struggling music student.
Peg Krause is an author, piano instructor, and web master of http://www.practicethepiano.com