A Parent’s Guide to Helping Your Child Practice at Home!
Involved parents = successful practice.
Successful practice + progress = happy kids.
Happy kids = happy parents!
It’s no secret, parents who are active participants in the piano lesson process have children who make progress. Kids who can see and feel themselves learning and growing from month to month are always happier than kids who aren’t making progress, and who are playing songs at the same level over and over. If our goal is to have happy kids who are learning, than being involved in your child’s practice routine – especially if your student is between the ages of 5 and 12 – makes absolute sense!
Most of my parents are self-proclaimed, “not-so-musical” parents. They believe their ability to help with practice boils down to, “It’s time to practice!”, “Did you remember to practice?” or “Oh my gosh, you have a lesson in 15 minutes, quick, practice!”
But it doesn’t have to be this way! Simply sitting with your child for the first five minutes of a practice session at home can have a huge impact on your child’s success. Use the questions below as a jumping off point to have a quick five minute chat with your child before they begin their practice for the day. You don’t have to ask all of these questions in one session (that would definitely be more than five minutes!); just pick one or two and go from there!
- What did your teacher write in your notes for this week? Let’s read them together.
- Where is the hardest part in this piece? Can you play it for me?
- Can you play this piece for me in s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n? Like you’re stuck in bubble gum?
- Let’s write a note to your teacher about today’s practice session. What should we tell her?
- Can I play the last note in this piece? Can you show me which key to press, and then nod at me when it’s my turn?
- Clap the rhythm of any measure of this piece and I will try my best to copy you!
- What does this mean? (said while pointing at any marking above or below a music note)
- What do you think this piece is about?
- Let’s surprise Grandma/Grandpa/Auntie/Uncle/etc. with a special tune! I’ll phone her/him…when you hear me say HELLO, start to play!
- I need a new ring tone for my phone. Can you play your piece without stopping for me, so can record it and use it as my new ring tone for this week?
Make practice time a part of the day that your child looks forward to. Let them show you everything they’ve learned in their lessons, kids love to become the teachers! This needn’t be a long, drawn out process. Five minutes a day is all it takes!