HOW-TO MAKE PIANO LESSONS SUCCESSFUL WITH CHILDREN
by Lesa from Notes About Music Notes
The piano has been a part of my life for over 35 years. As a teacher, I am consistent and try to make it fun. When I taught lessons, I learned a lot about kids (and their parents). Here are my best kept piano secrets...
1. The best age to start a child, in my book, is age 7-8. They are learning to read, they still think learning is fun, and they still think piano teachers are cool. They have a capable attention span and they love piano keys.
2. As a parent, be involved.
3. As a parent, be involved.
4. As a parent, be involved.
5. My best advice to a parent is to "house" the piano in the room closest to where the Mom is. Kids want to be by the mom. If she is in the kitchen and the piano is close by, kids will practice more.
6. Learn with them. What a great chance to get a two-for-one. Go to the lesson with your child. Don't let the teacher catch you watching and learning. Then when your child goes home to practice, practice the same things after them. What a great chance for an adult to learn if they have never had piano lessons.
7. Sit with them while they practice. It is hard to do but it will increase the chances of your child loving the piano.
8. Award them. Even if the piano teacher has some kind of of reward system in place, make up your own reward system at home. Then award them and let your other children see the award system in place.
9. Go to as many lessons as you are able to if it works into your schedule.
10. Talk to them about piano things. If you see someone playing the piano in church or at a concert -- talk to your child about the person playing the piano. Dialogue: "Look at that child playing the piano!" "I bet they practice everyday!" Something like that. In other words, point out piano players.
11. Take your child with you to the music store when you buy piano music. Have them see you talk to the employee at the music store. Communicate to the employee what your piano book needs are. Don't just walk into the music store and try to figure out your piano book needs on your own.
12. When you go to the music store, be prepared to spend money. Don't show your concern about the cost of piano books to your child. They will pick up on it, and it will affect their desire to play the piano. (Side note: I have found some of my favorite, best piano books at the Deseret Industries and most of them were only $1.00!)
13. Even if your piano teacher holds a recital, have a home recital. Make it a big deal. Plan in advance, a home recital. Make an invitation and invite Grandpa and Grandma. Have the student dress up. Set up chairs around the piano. Have treats after.
14. Before your home recital or regular piano recital - have your child practice introducing their piano songs. Dialogue: "Hi my name is Stephanie and I'll be playing Come, Come Ye Saints and Mozart 13th symphony. Then when they go to their real piano recital (and if the teacher has them announce) they won't be thrown off by announcing themselves.
15. If you don't have your child take lessons because you don't have a piano, check with music stores. Some of them have great rental plans to rent a piano monthly.
16. If you are playing the tug-a-war game with your child about practicing, tell them that if they will practice then you will do something that you don't like doing. Dialogue: "If you practice the piano, I will clean out the hall closet that I've been meaning to do for 3 months." They won't really get much benefit from the hall closet being cleaned, but they will learn that parents have to do things they don't want to do either. Then when the practicing is done and your hall closet is clean, go out for a DQ ice cream dilly bar.
Do you have any good tips on teaching your children to play a musical instrument?
image via flickr.