You have found the perfect piano teacher for your child or children. You probably had to spend a lot of time searching for a reliable piano teacher but your efforts have paid off. You’ve found the perfect one. They’re talented, thoughtful, patient, and experienced. Good teachers aren’t always easy to come by, so when you find one that you can rely on, it’s something to be happy about.
Don’t forget. There will be homework!
Of course, just like any experienced teacher knows, any kind of lesson won’t do much if your little one isn’t practicing at home, as well. Your child’s piano teacher probably sends home some homework in each class, so that by the next class, they have made some progress. It’s no secret that helping your child do their daily school homework is not a piece of cake so you can only imagine how challenging it may be to get them to do their piano homework, as well.
Solutions for homework success!
Don’t fret. The following tips will help you handle the homework dilemma like a parenting champion.
Emphasize the play part of playing the piano. Play piano related games while you’re at it to help them see the fun side of playing the piano. There are plenty of fun games that you can play before, during, or after practice to get them inspired by playing the piano.
If your child is a naturally creative individual, encourage them to create something that has to do with playing the piano. Whether they draw pictures for their piano practice room or practice writing songs, it can go far when you make a connection with their “art” and playing the piano. If they feel that they have a part in the decorating and set-up of their piano area, it will help them to want to make good use out of it.
Make a practice chart. This is helpful for everyone. It helps the piano teacher know how often your child is practicing, helps your little one have a sense of satisfaction when seeing how many times they practiced, and allows you to keep track of their practice time. If they are younger, you can make it fun with stickers added to their chart, each time they complete a class.
Ask their teacher to teach them specific strategies for practicing. Most teachers will send their student home with pieces to practice and tricks for practicing certain techniques. If your child’s teacher doesn’t, make sure to ask them to so that your little one can progress. This can be especially helpful if your child has some problem areas they need to work on.
Reward their efforts through an incentive program. At first glance, you may wonder if this is really necessary. After all, you may want to instill a work ethic in your child based on their talent for playing piano and their future satisfaction at being good at it. Yet, sometimes children need some encouragement in the right direction. As much as they like the idea of playing the piano, not every child likes the idea of having to practice regularly. To help them get their practice time in, you may want to consider an incentive program. Whether they have been wanting to do some kind of special activity or buy a unique item that they wouldn’t otherwise, this could be the time to promise a reward for all their hard work.
Inspire them to make up their own music. Sure, it’s going to be a lot of unpleasant noise at first but once they actually start learning how to play the piano well, you may be surprised at the notes you’ll hear come out of your piano. You could set aside time during each piano practice session at home to let loose and just play whatever they feel like, after practicing what the teacher has sent for homework. Not only is it good for their practice, but it’s also great to help them learn how to use their creativity in music. Who knows? They could be the next Mozart.
Get them involved in recitals. If your child is a natural-born performer, they may love this technique. Inspire your child to keep up with their homework and practice by finding them recitals to perform in. You could start out slow by asking them to play in front of a group of your family and friends and then move onto bigger and better events. This can help older children stay focused during practice, as they will want to do a good job during the recital and recognize that good practice habits will get them there.
Stay positive, always. Your child may mess up every now and then but if you want to make sure that they keep practicing (which will help them get better), don’t bring up the mistake in a negative way. Always lead with positive affirmations before suggesting an improvement, so that they know that they are doing a good job.
Encourage family and friends to listen in every now and then. If you have a family member popping by your house on a practice day, why not ask them if they would like to hear what your child has learned in their piano lesson? As they receive external validation for all their hard work, it will help to feel a tad bit more confident about their talent and may inspire them to keep on trying to get better.
Make it fun. Does your child have a certain type of music that they love? Allow them to practice their favorite song from their favorite band during certain homework practices. Talk to their teacher about helping them learn a special song every now and then. It will go far in helping them to not only get better but love the process of practicing and learning.
Piano Homework Can Be Fun
Homework doesn’t have to mean tears and frustration. With the above tips, you can help your children progress quickly while having a great time as they go. Whether they are talented at music or you simply want them to learn this skill, it takes time to become a good piano player.
More than anything, be patient. Homework and hard work is a challenge for you and for them but with time, you will both see how it will pay off. Happy playing!
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