Adult life is busy and it’s often hard to find time to fit everything in. But if you want to , you will. Most people have the time, just don’t want to prioritise learning to it . I always say learning music is like learning a new language . If you were trying to learn Japanese, practicing for 60 minutes once a week just wouldn’t be enough. You need to focus and it’s hard and nothing will make sense for a while but in order to speak fluently you have to practice and put some real work into it, particularly at the beginning .
Set a schedule or lazily practice on a weekend morning . Don’t make it a chore otherwise it will feel like one ! And once you start seeing the results you will want to carry on!
Getting kids to practice is trickier .
Again all the same principles apply however they have a shorter memory span and so need to practice more often for new information to stay in their heads . Children who don’t practice often enough tend to come to lessons with many mistakes and bad habits as they have forgotten what was set in the lesson . This then takes so much longer to undo in lesson time so it’s more cost effective for you as a parent to make sure that they practice at home ; otherwise precious lesson time will be used correcting rather than learning .
Children always need to want to learn and so it’s hard to strike the balance between putting a little pressure and forcing .However we must take into account that it’s human nature to want to take the easy route . Schedules seem to work for most children , and then of course a reward scheme – if they practice 20 minutes before dinner then they can have a treat etc . I also wouldn’t leave it down to the child to practice of their own accord. Making a chart of how many times they have practiced a week and getting a gold star etc is good encouragement and gets you involved in their learning . Once progress has started to be made then hopefully they will have their own momentum and desires to practice but particularly at the beginning, when learning difficult things like sight reading (which no one likes, let’s be honest!). Graded exams are often a good tool for practice as the child has their own goal to meet and they often then just tend to practice on their own.
Of course if you need more help than this please don’t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.