How to Do the 100 Day Practice Challenge
”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu
Did you know that if a small child does not practice for 24 hours, around 50% of what has been taught at the lesson is lost? This adds up, during the course of a week to a shocking 97%. It’s further complicated, by any last minute attempts at practice, which can wreck self confidence in both parent and child. It takes at least 100 Days to drop old behaviors and to make new, positive, practice habits.
- The one and only rule is simply, Practice for 100 days in a row. After 100 Days in a row, you’ll find the new habit will largely be formed.
- Fill in the practice chart every day. Any blank days “break the chain.”
Recognition: Children who achieve 100 days will be recognized at school-wide recitals with a certificate.
Tips to help you succeed:
- Tell your friends and colleagues about your 100 Day Practice goal, and even post online. Curiosity is always highly motivating.
- Keep a journal of all the good things that happen, during the challenge, for future motivation.
- Celebrate the milestones along the way with a small family celebration! Start the youngest children with a 10 Day Chart. Decide together on how to celebrate each milestone. Little rewards along the way keep us going. The difference in motivation, between families who celebrate practice milestones and those who don’t, is huge.
- Set a daily number of practice tasks instead of a set time for practice. Children who have to practice for a set number of minutes, quickly learn how to waste time.
- To make sure that practice happens, use a trigger. This is a daily activity that leads you to practice like practicing after breakfast. Visual triggers work well too.
- Remember that when starting the Challenge, less is more. Suzuki said that 3 minutes, 5 times a day is ideal for beginners.
- Be the secretary at your child’s lesson and write down exactly what, why and how to practice. 100 days of unfocused practice isn’t very useful.
- There are many things a child can do to practice when they are sick, in the car, or otherwise away from their instrument. Examples are air bowing to the CD, Singing the songs, Clapping rhythms, Active listening-paying attention to trouble spots while following along with the music, etc.
There will be obstacles to daily practice: Illness, Parties, Sports days, School events, Holidays,etc.
Remember that there are always several 5 minute time slots, in any day. In fact, micro practices are perfect for learning to focus. Dr. Suzuki said, “Practice only on the days you eat.” If your child is too sick to keep foods down, that is the only exception. This system is “On Your Honor”
Achieving the 100-day goal is a commitment on the part of the parent as well as the student. Children at Suzuki Institutes have achieved 1, 3, 5, and even 10-year achievements. If they can do it, you can do it!