How to Help Struggling Students Succeed at Playing Piano

This post is provided by a Lessons In Your Home Music Teacher

Playing a musical instrument, like piano, has proven to be beneficial both physically and mentally.  In addition, exposure to the arts through piano lessons establishes an appreciation for music and the arts as a whole at a young age, creating a more well-rounded education. The habit of practice and the routine involved often helps develop self-discipline and motivation, and piano lessons can also be a great artistic and emotional outlet. However, all of these benefits frankly don’t matter if a student has lost interest or is struggling in their lessons. At Lessons in Your Home, our piano lesson teachers will work with both the parent and the student to help struggling students achieve their musical goals. Here’s a few specific ways we can help.   

Helping Your Child Succeed In Lessons

Teachers will often change teaching methods with struggling students. They will try to find the best way to help each individual student. If a student is losing interest, the teacher may incorporate fun pieces outside the lesson materials. Reevaluating goals and outcomes is also a good place to start with a struggling student.  Different method books might be needed if the student is interested in a different focus or if they are more interested in a different style of music.  There are method books that use jazz, popular music, musicals, and many other styles instead of the more traditional pieces.  These books might be what your student needs to spark a new interest in piano lessons.

If the student is struggling with a particular skill or area of study, the teacher might change the focus of lessons to build up those skills or areas.  For example, if the student struggles with note-reading, there are many books that focus on that skill.  The teacher might also recommend materials or resources for outside lessons.  There are many different websites and games that teach certain skills, such as note-reading, rhythm, and ear training, that will both make learning more fun and can help a student overcome a specific challenge. 

Helping Your Child Succeed In the Home

Encouraging students and creating an environment for success is one of the most important ways to help a struggling student.  If a student has lost interest in piano lessons, try introducing them to music that excites them.  YouTube videos, live concerts or recitals, or online concerts are good resources to find performances.  Watching performances of other students, especially if they are the same age, will help motivate students.  In addition to watching performances, incorporating music in the home in other areas, such as at dinner, while doing chores, or on the road, will increase exposure to the arts and provide subtle motivation and an interest in lessons.  

Developing a steady practice routine will provide a level of predictability and help form a practice habit.  In a progressively busy society, finding time for regular practice can be tricky, but even finding ten to fifteen minutes at a consistent time every day will have lasting impacts in motivation, focus, and productivity in a student’s progress.

Depending on the age of the student, having the parent sit in on lessons will keep the teacher and the parent on the same page.  For young students, when the parents practice with the students at home, lessons are much more successful, the support from the parent aids in maintaining interest and enthusiasm in lessons.  One aspect about Lessons in Your Home is that with holding lessons in the home, parents can more easily sit in or listen in on lessons in order to help their child practice throughout the week.  

If parents have no experience with music, or if they want to further help a struggling student, they could also take lessons as well.  When a parent takes piano lessons with their child, lessons become a family activity, allowing parent and student to bond over music in a fun and productive way.  There are many duet books for piano at all levels and in many different genres, and these will provide parents and their child plenty of material to play together, both in lessons and at home.  

Contact Us if Your Student is Struggling

If you have questions about lessons or are dealing with a student who needs extra help, contact us! Our staff will be happy to set up in-home or virtual lessons with our teachers.

How to Help Your Child Succeed at Playing Piano