6 Activities for Young Musicians
Perhaps you've got a child at home who you can't seem motivate to practice their instrument, or maybe they've finished their pieces and have run out of things to do. We've put together a list of activities your child can do with their instrument to help motivate and encourage them, as well as stretch and challenge them!
1) Learn a new piece all on your own
Set yourself the task of learning a new piece or song all on your own, without the help of a teacher. You could even pick a tune to listen to and work out by ear, as well as try to memorise how it goes so you can play it without the music!
2) Learn a new instrument
Most households tend to have the odd random instrument lying around that no one really plays and hasn't been touched in years - a guitar in the loft, a recorder in a box somewhere, maybe even a piano collecting dust - well now's the chance to give that instrument some love and attention! With so many YouTube tutorials for beginners it has never been easier to try something for the first time. If you want to take it more seriously there are hundreds of teachers now moving their lessons online (including our Minor To Major staff!), to allow you to have lessons from your own home. Why not pick it up, dust it off, and give it a go?
3) Compose a piece for your instrument
Age and experience should never hinder creativity; Mozart wrote his first published string trio aged 5, Prokofiev his first work for opera age nine. A distinction should be made between composing (where a new idea can be played and repeated again and again) and improvising (creating something different every time).
4) Put on a concert
People always have, and always will, love listening to music. Why not put on a living room recital for your household with a selection of pieces you've learnt - you could always set up a video call so that other friends and family can watch too. Or you could entertain your neighbours by throwing open the windows and playing your favourite tune as loud as you can. You could even be the background music for a meal and bring a fancy restaurant into your own home!
5) Do a 'musical' workout
- Start by seeing how long you can play a note using only one breath - you can do this on any instrument. Non-wind players, you can hold your breath whilst playing a note too!
- Next, see how quickly you can play every note you know from the lowest, to the highest, note. Want an extra challenge? Try coming back down again!
- Choose a scale or pattern you know and can play well. Start by playing every note as minims, then move to crotchets. Keep going into quavers and semiquavers. Still too easy? Try playing in triplets too! See how cleanly you can move from one note length to another.
- Try playing your instrument in different positions. If you usually play standing up, try sitting down, or lying on your back. How about with your feet in the air, or whilst doing the splits? How many inventive positions can you find to play your instrument?
(Lying on the piano is not recommended!)
6) Record an Album
Nearly every electronic personal device now has a microphone on it, so take advantage of this technology to record your very own album full of your favourite pieces to play! There's no need for fancy equipment, just hit record and off you go. What's better, later in the year copy them onto a CD, then that's the grandparents Christmas present sorted!
Written by Will Peters