10 Tips to Keep Your Music Student Motivated Over the Summer

There’s nothing worse for both music students and their teachers than students coming back to school after the long summer break without really having had practiced during the off period. Just like how important it is for students to continue to read and use their minds over the summer so they don’t lose valuable skills, practicing their instrument year round is critical for continues success and improvement.

That being said, over those summer months lessons might become less regular, and there could even be interruptions due to travel and trips, making practicing on a daily basis difficult, but far from impossible. Getting the instrument out for even just a few minutes a day is just so important.

In fact, letting your music student slack off with their studies over the summer can mean up to three months to get back to the playing level they had been at before the break. This can be incredibly discouraging, and has led to far too many students questioning their interest in playing an instrument, and ultimately quitting.

So how can you keep you music student motivated to continue playing throughout those warm months when they want to be out doing basically anything else? We’ve got a few ideas to help you keep it fun, and keep them playing!

1. Practice Outdoors

No one wants to be cooped up inside on these wonderfully long, clear, and warm days! And why would they? So move the practice session outdoors (weather permitting, of course)! This brings a little change of scenery, gives the whole experience a bit of a novel feeling, and entertains the enitre neighbourhood!

2. Focus on Review

If your music student’s lessons are usually through their school, and you don’t want to sign them up for lessons over the summer, there is still a way they can maintain their current level: by practicing pieces they already know well. As long as they continue to practice even well known music, they can keep their skills strong and sharp for the fall.

3. Playing/Busking at Local Events

There’s no reason to keep the music locked up at home! There are all kinds of opportunities during the summer for your little musicians to share their skills with the whole community. Many community gatherings seek out performers, and there’s no reason you can’t find a nice corner and just let them play.

4. Add Music to Social Time

If your aspiring musician hangs out with other kids who play an instrument, try adding music to their social time. Playing music together is a fun experience that also keeps their skills strong.

5. Set Up a Mini Concert for Family & Friends

Summer is the perfect time for get-togethers with family and friends. Make your next gathering more musical with an appearance from your music student! Having a mini concert in the backyard for those close to you will give your student something to work towards, followed by a low stress performance environment where they’re sure to get lots of praise for their hard work and skill.

6. Learn a Song by Ear

For the slightly more advanced student, a great way to keep those musical skills sharp is to help them pick a song they love from the radio or their favourite artist, and encourage them to take some time learning to play it by ear. This can be a challenging, but exciting summer activity!

7. Practice in the Morning

Most school-aged musicians have all kinds of ideas about what they want to do during their time away from classes, and most of the time practicing their music is rather low on their list. Encourage them to do their practicing early in the morning, that way they can check it off their list first thing, and then get to their adventures.

8. Branch Out With Their Learning

Sometimes formal music classes can be a bit restrictive, especially in a group setting where there are several different instruments. Summer may be the perfect opportunity your young musician needs learn something about music that they want to learn. Pick up a book of music (maybe hip-hop, pop music, or even fiddling, whatever they’re in to), and let them learn things they might not have time for during the year.

9. Set Realistic Weekly Goals

Realistic goals are an important part of learning to play music throughout the year, but they can become an even more valuable tool during the summer months. Help them choose weekly goals that they can achieve, as well as a reward system for reaching them, like pizza for dinner, or a trip to get ice cream. With a system like this, they continue to push their skills forward.

10. Send Them to a Music Summer Camp

Possibly one of the best ways to keep your child motivated and improving their musical skills throughout the summer is to enroll them in a musical summer camp. Just like every other kind of summer camp offered, musical camps are stuffed full of outdoor, summertime fun! Music camps offer the same opportunities for children to play outside, meet new friends, and completely enjoy their summer, all with a fun musical component that helps them not only maintain their skills, but learn new ones. In fact, many music summer camps utilize most of the previous tips in this list to keep their students progressing in a fun-filled environment!

One of your jobs as the parent of a music student is to help them keep up their skills and interest while they are away from their normal, school-year musical routine. Planning their summer break with some of these tips should help you keep them motivated, continuing to take joy in the act of making music, and keep their skills strong and sharp.

If you’re wondering about camps, there’s still time to sign up for one of our many musical summer camps! We offer a wide variety of camps for all ages, skill levels, and instruments! We even offer a musical theatre camp as well as a creative arts camp!

To see a complete list of all our music camps, as well as their descriptions, and registration, please visit our Summer Camp Guide.