1. Should you remind your children to practice?
YES! Most children wouldn’t brush their teeth if parents didn’t remind them.
2. Have your children practice right after their lesson AND the very next day. When kids do this, their practice will be much more effective because everything they learned is fresh in their mind. It’s one of the best ways to ensure good quality practice.
3. Make practice a priority! Your kids won’t learn to play the piano unless they actually spend time playing the piano. It sounds obvious, but many parents forget this basic concept. The truth is that success won’t happen unless your kids practice several days each week.
4. Consistency is key. Consistent practice of 4-5 days a week is better than 1 or 2 days of longer practice. A short, focused 15 minute session will do wonders for your children. Some very young kids may only be able to do 10 minutes, but if they’re consistent with that 10 minutes every day, their learning will soar!
5. Encourage thinking before playing. Have your kids look over their songs, taking note of any teacher marks - before playing. Kids that do this are more likely to pay attention to tough sections when they practice. It’s a simple concept that takes less than a minute, but can really make a BIG difference. (Even older students fall into this trap, so remind them too!)
6. Songs don’t have to be practiced from start to finish. Many students find their songs are relatively easy to play except for a few tricky parts. What do most kids do? They play the heck out of the easy sections, stumble through the hard parts and keep on going. Unfortunately, the tougher sections never get better without a little extra work. To fix this problem, tell your kids to find the difficult passage in the song and work on that first. After that part is mastered, it’s easier to move on to the whole song!
7. Review old favorites! After your children have practiced their assignments for the week, encourage them go back and play a few old favorite songs. Not only will this strengthen their skills, it’s fun!
8. Set a good example! Let your kids see YOU practicing something or learning a new hobby. The point is for them to realize that learning anything involves work.
9. Promote performing! Encourage your kids to play in front of people. This doesn’t have to be a big deal. They could play a song when a neighbor stops by or even a phone call to grandma during practice would work.
10. Be a cheerleader! Let your kids overhear you telling someone how well they’re doing. Be specific and sincere. Don’t say they’re great at practicing the piano if they rarely practice. Instead, you could say you’re amazed at how quickly they learn when they practice. Find something to compliment! !