helping with practice
8 Ways to help your Child
- Be enthusiastic! Show them that you think learning piano is very exciting and love everything they do.
- Anticipate your child’s ups and downs. You may have to cajole them through the bad patches.
- Know when to help, when to support and encourage, and when to step back.
- Make practice a daily routine and make sure your child practises what they should be doing every week.
- Stress that they always need to be thinking what they want the piece to sound like. What does it make them think of? Make up little stories about the piece based on the sound.
- Encourage them to teach you!
- Keep your sense of humour when resolving practising issues.
- Always make it clear how proud you are of them.
8 Things to Avoid!!
- Try not to nag or sound irritated. It is important to portray music always as a pleasurable activity.
- Never belittle your child’s efforts!
- Avoid feeding your own ego through your child.
- Although it is good for a child to play in front of friends and relations if they wish, don’t push your child if they don’t want to. This can lead to performance phobia later.
- Don’t worry about temporary lapses in practice, but do worry if the lapses are too often. For good progress to be made your child should be practising most days.
- Don’t threaten to stop lessons if they don’t practice. Learning piano is a long term goal. Encourage them to practise and ride it out. Otherwise you may have to carry out your threat!
- Don’t EVER criticize your child in the presence of others. Never make your child lose face. And don’t criticize your child in front of the teacher. This may undermine the relationship the teacher has been building up. Better to speak to the teacher privately.
- Don’t expect gratitude for letting your child take piano lessons. Your child has no idea of your sacrifice and it may be years later that gratitude is voiced.
the right start
So you have always wanted to play the piano and now your child is learning! Everything is fine… or is it? Did you know that children are unlikely to commit to learning if their parents are not very interested? I mean, why should they, when you clearly don’t value it yourself? Your children reflect your attitudes. So make music an important part of your life. Make music something the whole family enjoys.
Here are some ideas and thoughts.
1. Music is a vital part of life, expressing our deepest emotions in a way that words can’t. It’s a great de-stresser.
2. Rhythm is a fundamental part of who we are. Our hearts beat, we have sleep cycles, monthly cycles, digestion cycles. Moods can even be affected by the moon! Rhythm speaks to us like nothing else, hence the strong beat of popular music. A sense rhythm affects everything we do, even walking and playing sports. Beat is deeply satisfying and increases happiness.
3. We are stirred by sounds of nature and try to replicate this in music.
4. Our voice is our own inbuilt instrument, a great place to start discovering music. We were born to sing!
5. Young babies are fascinated by sound and in fact respond to the music that they first heard in the womb.
being part of the family
6. You cannot do better than introduce music to babies and encourage your young child to sing, move, dance, and make sounds in a relaxed and happy manner. Go on, have fun!
7. Music training covers so many skills that learning an instrument can, and often does, rub off in other subjects, improving those areas also.
8. Music enhances children’s play.
9. Before starting piano lessons, make sure family music is an everyday part of your life.
Piano is a great first instrument. It teaches all the basics of music and is really good for coordination. It should only be learned when your child is ready, and with a great deal of support from you.
Music is for everyone, a beautiful part of life. Make music part of your daily life.