How Parents Can Help Young Piano Beginners with Practice
This article details how parents can help young beginners on piano with weekly practice assignments in 3 simple tips. These tips do not require any previous music study for the parents, but can help make lessons for 4 to 6 year olds very successful.
Piano is a great instrument for young beginners to start on, regardless of the ultimate instrument they want to play. For 4 to 6 year olds, it may be too early to start on guitar or a band instrument, for example, but beginning on piano helps in establishing note and rhythm reading basics. As a piano teacher, parents of younger students often ask me how they can help in weekly practice for their children, and there are many ways they can do so! Helping young students with piano practice does not require any previous music study from parents, but can enhance the experience until the student gets into a practice routine. Here are 3 easy tips to help you along the way!
Listening In On The Piano Lesson
Feel free to observe some lessons, especially at the beginning of study. The preference is totally yours about how often you would like to sit in on a lesson, but doing so occasionally with a younger student helps you get a sense of what they are working on and how the teacher is showing the student to practice. You’ll see what the current assignments/pieces are for your child and gain insights from hearing the teacher’s feedback. Most piano teachers will also agree that having a parent present for a couple of early lessons is very beneficial for young students, and the experience is actually quite fun and informative!
Ask the Piano Teacher Questions
If you have any questions or concerns about assignments or ways to help your child practice, communicate with your teacher. A lot of times, at the end a young beginner’s lesson, parents will ask me for a quick summary of new assignments and ways they can help in ensuring that the student is practicing productively. Piano teachers love to help with these types of questions! Sometimes, it can be as simple as just repeating certain sections, or making sure that slow practice is being done. Also, teachers can let the parents know about ideal time allocations for practice each day. These conversations don’t have to be very in depth, as far as musical specifics go, but staying in the loop about where the students are in the curriculum can be very insightful.
Encourage Engagement with the Piano
Young beginners on piano gain confidence and bearings on the instrument after several lessons. At the onset of lessons, young students may not be comfortable approaching the instrument on their own, or may be unsure about exactly what they should be working on. Parents can help by encouraging students to show them something they learned, or even have the student improvise for them. The goal is to have the student gain familiarity with going to the piano—like building a good habit. The more this comfort is established, the easier it will be for the student to start practicing independently. Encouragement and positive reinforcement for the student playing ANYTHING on the piano is also very constructive, as the student will have a sense of accomplishment and pride around the instrument.
Their Musical Journey on Piano
Parents can help tremendously in ensuring the success of piano lessons for young beginners—and it’s an easy task! Staying informed about what is being worked on and encouraging the student goes a long way, even if you as a parent have not taken music lessons before. Young beginners on piano are great students, and with a little help at the beginning, your child will gain practice independence and comfort with the piano that will follow them through their musical journey!