I am often asked this question by parents concerned that they might take the joy out of music by demanding a minimum amount of practice each day.
My answer in short:
Yes, just as you would force your child to do their homework. A sure way to 'take the joy out of music' is feeling stupid because they lack proficiency on their instrument.
Keep this motto in mind: "First discipline, then comes the freedom and joy of proficiency." This applies to just about everything in life.
Lack of practice is not fun for the students or the teacher. I drop students who consistently don't come to lessons prepared.
I heard a quote from the famous trumpet player Wynton Marsalis when asked how he feels about his students. He said, "Most of my students are full of shit. They want to be told how good they are but don't want to put in the time and work to be good."
One of my best students, Selea, practices just 30 minutes a day but does so consistently every day. She has played only 1 1/2 years and is already in Grade 5 ABRSM and is doing 3 octave scales and other advanced technique. She listens intently at every lesson. I'm not asking for 2 or 3 hours a day, only 30 to 60 minutes and for kids under 8, only 15 minutes a day.
Your child will thank you for 'forcing' them once in awhile because they will the experience the pure joy and ease of making music which comes after the work part.
Blog by Sue Lewis