Helping Your Child Learn
Teachers know that a student’s progress and success with piano lessons is absolutely dependent upon what happens between each lesson. Children who have engaged parents, helping and encouraging them along the way, almost always achieve more than those who are left to their own devices. Music isn’t a sport that can be left on the practice field. It follows us wherever we go. And unlike competitive activities, its goals are not so straightforward, often difficult for a child to grasp (especially as children typically start piano at an age before they can really say what they want from the musical process). Encourage your child to play for you at home. Listen to music with them – show them why you love it and you will help music to become meaningful to them. Beyond simply dropping the child off at their lessons, try to understand what goes on at their lessons and what the child is trying to accomplish each week. Perhaps even sit in on lessons or take a few yourself – few things are as heartwarming as a parent/child duet (it’s easier than you might think)!
From helping to set and stick with practice routines, to simply promoting music in the household, a parent is often the key for our new, young pianists.
The following links have much to say on this wide-ranging topic – at times contrasting and from differing points-of-view. Many are just a single page from a blog dealing with varying aspects of music education, so by all means explore. We hope they provide considerable insight and even more food for thought. Please be aware that none of these links are officially endorsed by the AAAPTG as every teacher has their own ideas and opinions – likely strong ones! We encourage you to inquire of your teacher to understand his/her particular views, expectations and suggestions.
How to Help Your Child Succeed at Piano by Patricia Taylor Lee.
The Truth about Piano Lessons – From Karen Berger’s “Musical Resources” blog.
How to Help a Child with Piano Practice – another fine entry from “Musical Resources.”
How to Motivate Your Child to Practice – from PBS’s lovely site dedicated to child education overall. Besides this entry, there are several others concerning music.
Getting Kids To Practice Music — Without Tears Or Tantrums – Not to be outdone by PBS, NPR has followed suit with a more wide-ranging music blog entitled “Deceptive Cadence.”
Taking an Active Role in Your Child’s Piano Training – from the Piano Education Page, a site which includes many thoughts and suggestions for parents.
… Naturally, this is just the tip of the iceberg! We welcome your thoughts and comments and please feel free to contact our webmaster to suggest additional resources.