Can you recall a time when you experienced anxiety about a private meeting you had to attend? Perhaps you were anxious because you felt unprepared, or because you had no idea what to expect. Some piano students can experience this kind of anxiety during weekly lessons, but luckily there are things you and your family teacher can do to overcome this dread and help your student begin to enjoy piano lessons again. If you are looking for Seattle piano lessons for yourself or your child, the staff at Lessons in Your Home would be delighted to work with you to follow these steps for improving your child’s confidence with piano lessons.
Establish a practice schedule
First, make sure that your child has a regular practice schedule and aims to practice five days a week. Fifteen minutes a day five days a week is better than the full hour and fifteen minutes all on the day before the lesson. The surest way to make sure that your child enjoys their piano lessons is to ensure that they enjoy their practice. Help them be consistent with their schedule and set reasonable expectations for practice time.
Differentiate between practice and performing
Next, make sure that your child does not perceive their practice time as a performance. They need to be comfortable with making mistakes and drilling repeated passages. Practice is not meant to sound good all the time. Do everything you can to respect their practice time. Do not interrupt their practice to have them play songs you want to hear, and do not critique their playing unless their Seattle piano teacher has asked you to listen for certain things during their practice. For example, your teacher may ask you to help your child remember not to practice too fast, or to not gloss over hard spots in the hopes that they will piece themselves together.
View lessons as a workshop, not an exam
Now that your child has gotten into the swing of practicing regularly and practicing thoroughly, they still should be relieved to hear that their lesson time is meant to be seen as more of a workshop than an exam. The whole point of enrolling in music lessons is to gain the tools to be a better musician and no teacher expects young students to already come equipped with all of those tools themselves. Now when recitals or competitions are approaching, of course the teacher is going to demand more nuanced performances and dedicated revision. But every lesson up to that point is like a little celebration of progress, and really recitals are just even bigger celebrations of collective progress.
Encourage your child and give them a voice
Lastly, as your child continues working hard every week, and even in the weeks when practicing falls to the wayside, encourage your child’s best efforts and make sure they feel like they have a voice to express their own opinions about music. If a child feels like they can pipe up and say why they like to play a song a certain way, or request that they spend some time learning to play one of their favorite songs, that is an excellent sign that they are feeling invested in their music studies and are beginning to see music as part of their developing identity. Cultivating a sense of ownership over their music studies is an important foundational component to ensure a lifelong interest in music.
These points here have only begun to scratch the surface of the conversation on improving your child’s confidence in piano lessons. At Lessons in Your Home, our private teachers help your child thrive as we are dedicated to fostering positive music experiences with our students and families. Any one of our qualified teachers would be thrilled to begin working on these goals with your child.
If you, your child or someone you know is interested in taking up piano lessons, contact us now! Our teachers come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your child!
By Natalie Bartels