How To Talk So Kids Will Practice

How to talk to your kids so they will practice music

How To Talk So Kids Will Practice

Just about everyone I’ve talked to has a challenge with getting their kids to practice. 
I too had this issue.
 
When my son Alejandro was young, not only was I the parent, but also the teacher. It was very challenging and we would often end our lessons in tears – his and mine!
It was extremely frustrating! 
It’s like that quote from the film Cool Hand Luke. 
“What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
It’s true. Communication is probably the biggest challenge humans face in all walks of life. 
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” 
– George Bernard Shaw
At age 9, Alejandro went to camp and became “piano guy” as he banged out requests on the old upright in the mess hall. Now at 16, he seeks out time to practice on his own. It’s become an outlet, a passion and a constant companion. Music has become part of his identity. 

So how did we get here?

Flashback to ten years ago. My brilliant and beautiful wife knows a lot about developmental psychology. Besides giving me a time out! – she gave me a book to read. You may already know about it. 
Reading this book was a major breakthrough for me.

In the book, the authors discuss four key strategies:

  1. Listen with full attention
  1. Acknowledge their feelings with a word
  1. Give their feelings a name
  1. Give them their wishes in fantasy

Listen with full attention

This is a rarity nowadays. I’ve seen so many parents staring at their smart devices while their children are begging for some attention. When Alejandro was a toddler, he would grab our faces and literally turn our heads and say, “Look at me!” Pretty funny and effective.
Getting attention is like getting oxygen. Your child wants your attention, approval and notice of what they are doing. Practice time can be an incredible bonding time. Get interested in what they are doing, and they will do more of it. It’s why I recommend always placing the piano in the center of the living space. It shows you care about this and it’s important to you. 
Did you ever notice how sports-crazed kids usually have sport-crazed parents? It’s the same with music, movies, arts, crafts, dance, whatever. Your children want to share in your passions. In other words, where your attention is.

Acknowledge their feelings with a word

It doesn’t even have to be a full word. It can be just, “Oh” or “Hmm” or just a caring look and nod of acknowledgement. One thing that is also very powerful is to just reiterate what they said. This works wonders when your child is upset. They don’t necessarily want or need you to fix things, they just want to be heard. As a man, I know I have the tendency to want to fix the problem, as the book  Men are from Mars, Women from Venus illustrated for me. My wife sometimes just needs me to hear her, not fix the problem! The same is true for your kids.

Give their feelings a name

This is especially useful for younger kids who don’t have the vocabulary to express what they are feeling. Heck, many adults don’t either! There is a movement towards social-emotional learning (SEL) with full curricula to emphasize this. 
When your child is upset, they don’t always have the words to tell you what they are feeling. Giving them a vocabulary is relieving in that they are acknowledged. 
This chart used to be on my refrigerator. It is a useful way of articulating how you’re feeling.
You can try having your child point to the picture that most describes what they are feeling right now.
Bonus points if you make that face too!

Give Them Their Wishes in Fantasy

This is fun and a way to build empathy and connection. Obviously your child knows it’s a fantasy. But they feel heard and acknowledged. You’ll see what I mean below.
Here’s two examples of how to talk about practicing, one obviously better than the other.

Scenario 1

Child: I don’t want to practice 
Parent (looking at phone) : You have to practice! How are you going to get better?
Child: But I don’t want to!
Parent: It’s not a choice just go do it!
Child: No
Parent: You know you need to practice – why don’t you just go practice?
Child: I don’t feel like it.
Parent: Well I don’t feel like doing many things either, but I have to. Do you think I want to go on the stinky subway everyday? Now go and practice, NOW! 
Child leaves crying and bangs on the piano.
Parent: What did I do?

Scenario 2

Child: I don’t want to practice 
Parent looks directly at child: Hm. You don’t want to practice.
Child: Well…I know I should, but I don’t feel like it right now.
Parent: You’re not ready to practice right now.
Child: No.   I want to go to the beach!
Parent: Well, that would be fun. But I know the beach is over an hour away. I wish I had a magic wand to make us just fly to the beach right now! 
Child: Ha ha….
<Pause>
I’m a little hungry, can I have a snack?
Parent: Ok I’ll make a snack.
Child: And then I want to show you the new song I learned!
There’s so much more in the book. I encourage you to try these strategies out. Also share this with your friends and families.

This is the gift of music for your grandchild

best gift for grandkids

Looking for the perfect gift for your child or grandchild this holiday?

Sick of all the usual toys, games and gadgets?

We’ve all heard a lot about the over-saturation with technology, screens and electronics in our children’s lives.  How can we steer our young ones back to real experiences?

What about giving an experience of music?

Our Musicolor Method® enables any child to begin making music instantly through the power of color.

Using color as educational scaffolding, we label fingers, keys and use a simplified notation that allows any child 3 1/2+ to start playing piano within three minutes!  And it works for all ages!  We can then move to other instruments as well.

 

Give your child or grandchild the gift they will have for the rest of their lives.

And you too!  Our gift certificates can kickstart a life of music and more.

 

Halloween in Park Slope

Halloween Parade In Park Slope Route Map
One of the biggest events of the year in Park Slope Brooklyn is our Halloween Parade.  While it’s not as large and raucous as the NYC parade in Greenwich Village, its still super fun and far more family-friendly.  Of course!
We are Park Slope, known for our double wide strollers, infants in bars ( dogs too) and an over abundance of preschools all costing north of $25,000 per year.
It’s set to start at 6:30pm on Thursday October 31, 2019 at Washington Park on 7th Avenue and 14th street.  It will wind its way down the avenue, turning at 3rd Street and ending at JJ Byrne Park, site of other historic Washington moments and for a brief period, the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Over the last 12 years, we’ve learned to NOT schedule music lessons on Halloween.  So no lessons!  How could any child sit and focus on music while mountains of candy await?
So enjoy your trick or treating!  I still may dress up as my alter ego of Metal Maestro!
See you in the lessons!
Andrew “metal maestro” Ingkavet
Director/Teacher/Fellow Park Slope parent

What is the real reason we send our kids to college?

What if we could be limitless?

 

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  

 

What projects would you work on?  Where would you go? Would you still be doing the work you do now?

 

In the film Limitless, a pill gives one human the power of all knowledge, and unlimited confidence.  In other words, all knowledge is available and failure impossible.

 

“Not many of us know what it’s like to become the perfect version of ourselves.”

– Eddie Mora, played by Bradley Cooper in the film Limitless

 

It’s a fun idea.  

 

As parents, isn’t this what we want for our kids?  Not with the pill, I mean. But, to be limitless?

 

My son Alejandro turned 17 a few weeks ago.

 

We’ve been touring colleges for almost two years now and I started thinking. Why are we doing this?

 

Everyone knows the stories about billionaire college dropouts like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and others.

 

There’s been a lot of talk in the media about whether college costs are worth it? With some tuition over $70,000 per year and rising student debt that can never be refinanced or forgiven, there is good reason to pause. Especially in the fields of study where jobs are not readily available or not particularly high paying like education, and the arts and humanities.

 

Plus, you can learn all the same skills and use all the same textbooks at your local community college or even just the public library. There’s even free courses from the very same Ivy League colleges and universities online 24/7.

 

So, why do we all strive to send our kids to the same 100 or so colleges? Why have parents committed crimes to get them in?

 

The answer dawned on me as I sat in a recent presentation for Stanford University which I attended with my son.

 

There were wonderful slides and a nice introduction by the Dean of Admissions.  But then, they introduced a panel of recent grads. Not only were they poised and well-spoken, but the sense of confidence without arrogance was palpable.  Here were five twenty-somethings who carried themselves as if they were decades more experienced and were already directors of teams and managing projects spread across the globe.  And they all exuded this single quality…limitless.

 

Going to a good school is not just about the curriculum.

 

It’s more than that. College is an experience. It’s a 4-year version of that Limitless pill. It’s about transformation.

 

As a coach and mentor to other business owners and educators, I’ve discovered growth is more mental than physical. In fact, it’s 80% mental and 20% physical.

 

When I say mental, I mean mindset:  the thoughts and feelings you experience on a daily basis. 

 

The college experience is about transforming what you thought was impossible in yourself and in the world.

 

By surrounding yourself with other like-minded people, you share similar expectations and shift beliefs to  what is possible.

 

You are held accountable for your actions.  

 

That’s the real reason we want the best schools for our kids.  It’s four years of breaking and rebuilding beliefs and lifting each other up.

 

“If you want a new outcome, you will have to break the habit of being yourself, and reinvent a new self.

– Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself, By Dr. Joe Dispenza

 

Education, and all experience, is a path to becoming. If we view all life as this path, we can make better choices. Everything is an opportunity for reinvention. But, only if one is aware of this power. We are all authors and composers of our lives.

 

It’s why we enroll our kids in activities like sports, language and music lessons. It’s why we “make memories” with them every time we take them on a family trip.

 

“…your familiar memories related to your known world ‘re-mind’ you to reproduce the same experiences…the way you think and feel – and then see how the external environment is altered by your efforts…”

– Dr. Joe Dispenza

 

We are the heroes of our children’s lives. We have the power to give this gift of possibility. And it doesn’t require a pill. It only takes a shift in mindset.

 

So, take an interest in your children’s hopes and dreams. Give them opportunities to soar.   Invest in your own coaching and model the limitless mindset.

Feel free to share this with your friends.

Brooklyn music lessons for kids – now in more neighborhoods

Brooklyn Music Lessons For Kids - No dogs

Now serving new additional neighborhoods with in-home lessons.

We send patient, kind and caring music teachers to your home in:

  • Bay Ridge
  • Bed Stuy
  • Boerum Hill
  • Brooklyn Heights
  • Bushwick
  • Carroll Gardens
  • Cobble Hill
  • Clinton Hill
  • Crown Heights
  • Gowanus
  • Kensington
  • Lefferts Gardens
  • Park Slope
  • Prospect Heights
  • Sunset Park
  • Williamsburg
  • Windsor Terrace

We teach the following instruments:

  • Piano/Keyboard
  • Guitar
  • Ukulele
  • Violin
  • Cello
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Drums
  • Songwriting
  • And so much more

If you’re neighborhood is not listed, please contact us, we may have added it recently.

How is it possible that we have expanded?  We now have 14 wonderful teachers.  You can find all of their photos and bios here (note – some are still being uploaded as I write this.)

All of our teachers are fully vetted, background checked and trained in our unique approach and philosophy of education:  Musicolor Method®.  It’s an approach that stresses playing first.  All the basics of music are covered, including reading music on a staff,  just in a more natural order.  The instant results we get boost self-confidence and enable kids to continue where other traditional methods have discouraged so many.

To learn more, visit our homepage or schedule a call with our founder and director, Andrew Ingkavet.

 

 

*Unfortunately, we do not teach dogs piano.  Neither do we teach cats or penguins.  Only kids!

Photos and Videos from Spring 2019 Recital Concerts

We had a fabulous set of recital concerts on June 8, 2019. Just over 60 of our students performed. It was a fantastic celebration of all the hard work, focus and practice of life skills through music.

Here’s some photo highlights. Photos by Miles Schiff Stein

And you can see videos here.

Photos from our Holiday Party / Music Salon 2018

Park Slope Music Lessons Holiday Party Music Salon

Each year, I host a Holiday Party and Music Salon for our music students at one of our student’s homes. It’s a great way for our youngest and shyest to get over their fears of performing in front of others. And every year it gets better. It also gives a chance for new friendships to be be born and our Music Mentors and Mentees to hang out, each some treats and play for all of us. Wonderful.

Here’s some of the highlights.

What is the most destructive question that everyone asks themselves?

What is the most destructive question everyone asks themselves? And how to ask a better one.

And how to ask a better question

“What’s in it for me?”

This is the underlying question almost everyone has running in the back of their minds. Someone makes you an offer and you automatically ask it.

“What’s in it for me?”

Parents ask a variation, “What’s in it for my child, my family?”

It’s perfectly normal and most everyone does it.

 

So why is this question a problem?

Because this question reveals a mindset of lack.

“Gimme, gimme, gimme.”

“Take, take, take.”

It’s the voice of the ego based on fear, insecurity, and a lack of abundance.

 

Victim Mindset

It’s victim thinking, not a hero.

I experienced this growing up.

It was like life was an all you can eat buffet.

But “You better get your money’s worth.”

It’s why cruise ship guests put on their “buffet pants.”

Or the advice of some who say, “don’t fill your plate with the cheap stuff, grab the good stuff.”

Now, what if we could shift this to the opposite?

What if we could change the question?

Not

“What’s in it for me?”

But rather

“How can I help?”

By asking this new question, there is an assumption of abundance. This question assumes you have the power, capacity, and ability to help. It’s a powerful question. You are tapping into your true gifts. It comes from a deeply spiritual place, not your ego. There is more than enough to share.

We’ve all had ups and downs in our lives. I personally experienced many magical miracles. And then flipped to complete despair.

What I’ve noticed is the presence of the first question and not the latter. Mindset is the key.

 

So what is mindset?

A mentor of mine recently gave me an amazingly simple definition:

“Mindset is the voice(s) in your head.”

That’s so true. I hear my parents, teachers, and even people I don’t care for speaking in my head.

 

Who put these voices in our heads?

They get installed automatically throughout life. Parents. Teachers. Relatives. Caregivers. Friends. Facebook. The media…

The thing is, unless you are aware, you are being programmed all the time. If you let it wash over you daily without consciousness, you are installing these voices. The prevailing mindset of lack, poverty, and despair.

The good news is, you can reinstall new voices. It’s like upgrading your internal operating system to the latest, greatest version. You choose your own voice.

Ask Better Questions

Tomorrow, my son turns sixteen. Sixteen! We’re about to start visiting colleges. Think about focus of study. Plan out a course for life.

What I want most for him is to flip the questions. Ask more empowering ones.

 

“How can I help?”

“What can I offer the world?

What was I born to do?

What are my gifts?

What makes me the only one?”

Of course, questioning goes on for a lifetime.

 

We never completely know

We are always discovering.

The journey of life and success IS the journey of discovering the answers to this question. Life is self-discovery. And this question can change your life.

How can I help?

I hope this awakens something inside of you. New voices = new life. This goes beyond parenting, music, education, business, whatever. This is for you. And through you, you will light up the world.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and place it under a basket, but place it on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine, so that they may see your good works…” – Matthew 5:14. the Bible

 

51 Benefits of Arts Education for Kids

It’s National Arts in Education Week, the perfect time to remember the many benefits that learning music, art, and drama bring to our children.

Not only does Arts Education provide kids with the possibility of discovering a lifelong passion or creative career, but it also nurtures happiness, wellbeing, and inspiration – all things that can have a positive impact on academic subjects, too.

Here is visualization of the many evidence-based benefits of Arts Education:

Now you can see why it’s vital for parents and arts educators to come together and make their voices heard. Arts Education must remain a core part of our children’s learning experience.

To explore in more detail the benefits of Arts Education for kids, check out the full article accompanying this infographic, here: http://wetheparents.org/arts-education

 

Is it too early for my child to learn piano?

At what age can my child learn piano?

Is it too early to start music lessons?

The best part of our curriculum, the Musicolor Method®, is that it enables children 4 to 6 year olds to start exploring their natural curiosity and passion for music.  Most music schools and private teachers will not accept children under the age of 7 or 8. We can, and we have a proven system to do it with fun. By the time your child reaches the age of 8. When their peers are just beginning, he/she will already be playing, singing, reading and understanding great music.

Many parents want to start as early as two or three years old.  How do you know if they are ready?

There is a natural progression of childhood development.  Most kids are ready at around 4 years old. Sometimes a little earlier or later.  Here’s a few questions to ask.

  • Do they know basic colors?

  • Do they recognize and can name the letters of the alphabet?

  • Has fine motor skills developed enough?  Example: can pick up small objects or write their name legibly.

  • Can they count to ten?

  • Can they focus on a single activity for at least five minutes?

But will my child learn to read real music?

Yes.  The Musicolor Method® uses a phased learning process where the skills of making music are taught, only in a different order that other curricula.

We start with playing first.   On a parallel track, we begin introducing technical and theory elements.  After a student reaches a certain level of ability and confidence, we begin to gradually introduce elements of reading on the music staff.  This process can take months or years depending on the starting age of the child.

What we have noticed is that children learning with the Musicolor Method® from the age of 4, flow easily through the stages of development of a musician, artist and person.  We believe learning to make music imparts skills for a successful life. Music as personal development plus the enjoyment and artistic development that goes along with it.

This is why you should not learn to read music first

This is why you should not learn to read music first

Should All Music Students Learn to Read Music?

As a music teacher, I’m often asked about reading music.  Some parents want to know,”Will my child learn to read music?”  These are usually parents who have had musical training and see the benefits of being able to read music from the last 1000 years of music literature!

Music notation is an incredible invention.  It is so concise, brief and elegant in it’s description of what would have been a lost experience.  But that’s the problem.  It’s so concise and symbolic, you need years of training, practice and conceptual development to simply read music.  It’s well worth the effort though.  Learning to read music unlocks the doors to vaults and vaults of incredible music by the masters from Bach to Mozart to Beethoven to Stravinsky to Bernstein to Miles, Bird and Lin-Manuel Miranda, to name just a few.

But My Favorite Rock Star Can’t Read Music

Others want to know if they “have to learn to read music.”  This is usually from parents who struggled with reading music and really did not enjoy the process.

I can see both points of view.  While yes, there is a great value in learning to read music, many of the greatest musicians cannot read standard music notation.  Paul McCartney is just one example.  And no one would ever claim Sir Paul is not a “real musician” or songwriter.

The Old School Traditional Way

Traditional music teachers often start with reading music. They want to do this because it is teacher-centric. It’s easier for teachers as there’s so much music written with traditional notation.

Music notation is over 1000 years old!

Ye Olde Songs…yawn

So, often, this old school, easy way for teachers, is also focused on older music.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But, if you want to connect with younger students, you need to find a common ground.  You need to connect them with their music.  No, you can’t start immediately on the latest songs on the radio.  But you can accelerate the learning to get to that goal much quicker.

 

This is why you should not learn to read music first
This is an example of Bach’s handwritten notation from back in the 1600’s!

 

Accelerate Learning Techniques for Music

At Park Slope Music Lessons, we feel that to present the written music first is backwards. It’s like teaching grammar rules before even learning to say hello!

Our curriculum, the Musicolor Method®, works by giving students an experience of playing first, while building up technique and then gradually presenting the language of music through games and activities. It’s much more entertaining and twice as effective!

By empowering children of all ages to immediately start playing, there’s a huge boost of confidence.  Emotion is part of all learning.  How do you feel if you don’t get it?  Dumb?  Confused?  Frustrated?  But what if you could learn to play a simple song within the first five minutes of your first lesson?

Take a look at our videos, and the rest of our site.  You will see we have helped so many kids here in Brooklyn and now around the world learn to make music in a manner more organic, fun and fast.

Life Skills Through Music

And that leads to building life skills transferrable to school, work…everything!

Can special needs children learn to play an instrument?

Music lessons for special needs children?

If you ask the average music teacher about special needs children as students, you may get a blank stare. There isn’t much literature focused on this. Children with special needs may include those with learning disabilities, developmental issues, as well as those on the Autism spectrum.

At Park Slope Music Lessons, we’ve had several students with special needs. Our Musicolor Method® has proven to be a great way for these children to learn music where other teachers/methods have failed.


Can a special needs student learn to play piano?  

Absolutely!

“I still can’t believe you got my son to play with all 10 fingers in a single lesson! He is so excited and practicing every day on his own. Our previous teachers were all trying to get him to play one finger the whole time. He was bored and frustrated!”
Parent of a 5 year old student

Take a look at some of the videos of our past recitals, music salons and read our blog posts.  You will see we have helped so many kids learn music in a way that is fun, fast and supportive.  It doesn’t matter if your kld is or isn’t a prodigy, we make learning music an organic process.  And it all activates life skills that are transferrable to school, work and life!

How we use the Musicolor Method to teach special needs children to make music with fun and ease.
Musicolor Alphabet Cards, one of many physical games/tools we use to teach abstract concepts of music

If you have any questions about your child and their specific issues, feel free to contact us.

Infographic on the powerful benefits of music for babies and kids

Most of our students at Park Slope Music Lessons have some experience with early childhood music programs.  But you can even start singing to your baby in the womb.   I came across this delightful and educational infographic from the fine folks at Mom Loves Best.

Our Musicolor Method® is a fun, simple and effective next step from those Mommy&Me type programs and makes learning higher levels of music easy.

Enjoy!

Learn more about the benefits of music for babies and kids at Mom Loves Best.com

Why I want my student’s “desk” as big as possible

Did you ever go to a library or coffee shop just to have a bigger desktop?  There’s something so spacious and freeing about just having more physical workspace right in front of you.

Last week, I visited several co-working spaces in New York City just for that reason. Having a bigger desktop is incredibly freeing. It opens up your thinking.

And it’s the same thing with your internal mental workspace.  Years ago, I came up with the metaphor of the mental desktop.  This is how I imagine each child learning.  As I begin teaching a 4-year-old, they can only retain one note at a time in their mental workspace.

Over time, we begin chunking that into two and three-note phrases.  Over time, we begin expanding their “mental desktops” to be able to hold complete phrases and sections.  It is incredible to witness!

Each child’s progress is individualized.  

There are no hard and fast rules of how many days or weeks it will take to expand from two notes to two measures.

But sometimes we overestimate how much a particular student can retain.  Sometimes the student will shut down and not want to do anymore.  They’ll refuse to even try!  Other times, it’s as if we’ve gone backwards.

I’ve had some parents complain about their kid’s slow speed in learning how to read music.  But it’s similar to learning to read words.  You can’t skip ahead.  That will only lead to confusion, frustration, and overwhelm.

The core principles of the Musicolor Method include a 7 step framework of teaching and learning.  The first is the Growth Spiral. Every organism in the universe follows this spiraling outward from a central core.  You can see it in the petals of a flower, microscopic cells and the macroscopic like the cosmos.  It’s how growth happens, physical and mental.  You can’t skip from the inner to outer rings.

Another principle is called the Stepping Stone Principle.  Imagine you are trying to cross a stream.  Your guide (the teacher), picks a path and even lays out some stones for you (the student) to cross over.  If the stones (lessons) are too far apart, the students falls in the water.  Some may even get swept away or drown.  Putting the stones too close leads to boredom and perhaps the student also gets stuck there.

These principles are not something taught in music education programs.  It’s my distillation of what I have learned from other effective mentors and reflection on my teaching experiences.

So what if your child is not progressing to your expectations?

Well, the first question to ask is:  Are they practicing every day?

Practice is a learned skill.

You need to teach them how to practice.  It’s not about cramming.  It’s creating a routine that then becomes a habit.  We are all made of our habits, good and bad.  Learning to practice takes effort at first, but quickly becomes a routine.  It’s all about finding even five minutes at the same time every day.  This makes it easier.  Brushing your teeth was not something you just did on your own.  Your parents taught it to you.  It’s the same with music.

If practice is happening, then most issues dissolve. But please be patient.  If your child seems to be going slower than their friends, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong.  Skipping ahead will only make things worse.  Trust the process and practice.

The best way to praise your children

The best way to praise your children

Take a look at these two sentences.

1) “Great job, you must be really smart.”

2) “Great job, you must have worked really hard at this.”

So similar but a vast difference in results.

 

If you say “Great job, you must be really smart,”

the child hears,

“Oh you think I’m brilliant and talented.  That’s why you admire me and why you value me. I  better not do any that will disprove this evaluation.”

It leads to a “fixed mindset.”

Whereas focusing on the process of growth leads to greater perseverance, grit and focus.   This comes from the research in the 1970’s by Stanford professor, Dr. Carol Dweck and has influenced so many others including Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth’s work on Grit.

When Alejandro was still small, I used to habitually say, “Good job.”  And I noticed over time, a fixed mindset was starting to set in.  If the task did not come quickly and easily, he wouldn’t persist or even attempt to try.

After I learned about Growth Mindset, I quickly shifted how I  praised and it began to change.  Thankfully, it seems to have been corrected.

It’s the same in music lessons.  I have become aware of seeking to praise the process and effort.  Over time, you will begin to notice how your child reacts differently.

I tried to read Carol Dweck’s academic works, but found them very dry.  This video is a much simpler, easier and fun way to learn more.

 

How To Set Up A Successful Practice Routine

Parents: How to set up a successful practice routine for your child
  1. Pick a time of day when you can always practice, even for just a few minutes.
  2. Choose a small amount of time that you can always do, for example, 5 minutes.
  3. Set it on the calendar or sticky note or smartphone alarm.
  4. Practice for just the allotted time.
  5. If you feel you can do more or want to do more, go ahead, but don’t skip a day,
  6. Make an X on your chart or calendar for everyday you practice.
  7. Celebrate each small win with a small reward
  8. Repeat

As I said in a previous post, creating a practice routine that is at the same time everyday, in the same location, begins to cultivate a habit.  Willpower is required at first, but then it becomes a trigger that sets the  routine in motion.

Habits are what we are made of.  Successful habits separate winners from losers.  There’s no willpower involved, you just do it.