Does this sound familiar?
The piano teacher is coming in an hour and you’re pretty sure that kid has not played a note all week. You promise yourself you will make him sit down for piano practice next week. Even as you’re saying this you sigh, thinking of your packed schedule.
Learning to play the piano is a challenge.
When you have a child taking piano lessons it can be difficult to get them to sit down and practice. You know the practice will lead to them being better piano players which, in turn, will lead to your kid enjoying playing.
But how do you get over that practice time hurdle?
Here are three secrets parents in the know use to get their children to regularly practice piano.
Use Quick 5-Minute Sessions In Between Other Activities
Practice doesn’t have to be for a set number of minutes a day to be effective.
When children are first learning how to play, it’s hard to sit down for 30 minutes. It feels like you’re in time out when you didn’t do anything. Instead of requiring a set number of minutes of piano practice, try segmented piano practice. Have your child practice their piano lessons during commercials of their favorite afternoon TV show or use any break between activities to practice piano. This even works when streaming TV shows since you can still tell when a commercial would have come.
Break Up Practice Time By Rehearsing One Song Section At A Time
The most ineffective way to practice is to start in the same spot each time you play a song. Ask your teacher to break up the song into 2 – 4 measure chunks. In those 5 minute commercial or snack breaks, only play those 2, 4 or 8 measures. Your teacher will appreciate it more if your child can play the first two lines great, than playing the whole song clumsy.
Reward The Small Wins While Practicing Piano
A lot of times students get rewarded for completing a song, but what about being rewarded for being able to play only part of a song? A page with one big sticker is nice. But a page with a bunch of little stickers AND a big sticker is even better.
Buy stickers and give them to your child to place on the music as they learn small parts of a song. Let the child put the stickers on themselves after the teacher has heard the song section. It gives a great sense of accomplishment and makes learning more fun.
A piano student who is making progress will continue to practice and play.
Rewarding small accomplishments will give your piano student a sense of progress being made. Make a big deal out of how great it is to accomplish each goal, and make sure that your teacher is aware of your plan and acknowedges the accomplishments.
Practicing will become much more natural using these three piano practicing secrets. Five or 10 minutes every day before the school bus is much better than 45 min the day of your piano lesson.