FOR PARENTS

Learning piano requires time and effort, but this process can also be fun and engaging. First, find a consistent daily practice time: this leads to a greater potential for success. I’ve listed a few of my other favorite practice solutions.


Schedule a day/time

Finding a consistent daily practice time leads to a greater potential for success. All humans relate to routine and practice can become just like doing homework, brushing your teeth, bedtime and eating properly. What other things are in your daily routine that are nonnegotiable?

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Spot Practice

First, work on each problem spot. Practice each step that I suggest in the assignment book. Play the measures in which the error(s) occur and finally,  play the whole piece. Spot practice encourages students to focus their freshest thoughts on making the corrections before the thinking becomes less focused as it tends to do when playing the piece as a whole over and over again.


Play a Supporting Role

A good way to help is to ask the student to explain and then demonstrate what is on the assignment sheet — not for the purpose of supervising or checking on whether he is doing it correctly, but just to understand what is going on at the lesson. You’ll both benefit from this approach.

If your child can’t explain a practice procedure or if you believe that he has misunderstood the practice directions, ask me for help rather than attempting to correct the issue.


Set shorter times

For younger children, 15 minutes may be a long enough time to play. Maybe try a second practice session that day also to enhance focus. Sometimes just sitting by the student during one or two practice sessions to review his weekly assignment. Practice is a process; it may take a second week (or more) to perfect any skill.

Verbalize the Music

Verbalizing as one practices calls the brain into function. It is difficult to name something if we are not thinking about it. I find that verbalizing such things as finger numbers, note names, dynamic changes, and the up/down motion of the foot in pedal practice is helpful.