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Piano Practicing

SEVEN THINGS PARENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PIANO PRACTICING 

 

  1. Learning how to play the piano involves dedicated piano practicingby your child with parental help. Your children will need parental help – Up until about age 11, children need hands- on help with Piano Practicing.  And even  though you yourself may not read  music or play the piano, your assistance is still very much  needed! Parental help can take the form of reading lesson notes, organizing practice time wisely, providing encouragement through difficult sections or situations, and seeking out answers for  “I’m  stuck on  this”  problems.  Asking  a  young  child  to  be  in  charge of something as important as piano practice is often asking too much.  Your help at home  will make  a substantial difference in your children’s progress.
  1. Your children need you to establish a  routine – Piano practicing should be done every  single day and is by far the  most effective practice structure. Thirty minutes three  times a week  is just ninety minutes. Twenty minutes seven days a week is one hundred forty minutes. The  total difference is forty three hours of missed practice per year  if your children are  only at the piano three  times a week! Short,  focused and  regular visits to the  piano help your  children retain and understand what  they  are  learning while making the  most of generally short attention spans. If practice is enjoyable, rather  than  arduous, your children will naturally (and  unknowingly!)  increase the  time they  spend on  the  bench… eventually reaching that 30 minute mark. Setting a regular time of day when piano practice happens “no matter  what” will ensure a daily practice routine is easy for your children to maintain.
  1. Your children needs lots of encouragement – Learning to read music and play the piano can be difficult; it can be discouraging… it can feel overwhelming. Your children (no matter what their age)  need loads of encouragement. And not just verbal encouragement. You can show your children that you value their efforts by  attending their recitals with enthusiasm, inviting friends and family to listen to your them play, and  taking the time to sit and  listen to them practice with your undivided attention.
  1. Your children need a home instrument that is enjoyable to play – Much of the pleasure from playing the piano comes from one’s ability to emote feeling, nuance and expression through  music. Even  young  beginners will experience great satisfaction from making beautiful sounds…. so choose an instrument that gives them the best opportunity to make  beautiful sounds. Guidance from your children’s teacher will help you find an affordable piano (don’t worry, there  are many great and affordable options) that will give your children the tool they need to truly experience piano lessons. An investment in a good  instrument protects the   investment   you   are    making   in   your   children’s   musical   education. *From Lynn: A keyboard is not a piano, and  is never a good  substitute.  The  nuances mentioned above are not possible on an electronic instrument because of the absence of strings and  other components present in an acoustic piano.
  1. Your  children need  a   positive  practice  environment –  Aside  from providing encouragement, your children need you to create a positive practice atmosphere. Help your children avoid “cramming” the day before lessons. Stick to your daily routine to avoid weeks of forgotten practice (which lead to feelings of  inadequacy  on   the   part   of  your   children).  Music  is  joyful…  and so practicing music should be as well. This is, fortunately, something that you are able to create easily with a commitment to regular practice.
  1. Your children need you to communicate with their teacher – Working as a parent/child/teacher  triangle  is  the  optimal  way  to  ensure  progress and success in piano lessons. Be sure to communicate often with your children’s piano  teacher. Check   in  on  how  lessons  are   progressing,  ask for  help  if something is difficult for your  children at  home, let your  teacher know  when practice weeks have  gone  extremely well (or not so well). Working as a team means your children are supported equally on all sides at all times.
  1. THE PLEASURE OF BEING A PIANO PARENT…

    Learning to play music is a  life-changing experience. And,  as a  parent, the process is  a  thrill  to  watch.   Being  a  major  part  of  this  accomplishment  is incredibly rewarding! The           profound pleasure of being a “piano parent” far outweighs the required extra efforts; and this is, by far, the most important thing that piano teachers want parents to know about piano           practice.

Piano Practicing

 

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