Questions Parents Should Ask about Practicing
There are a lot of questions that parents should ask their teacher when their child is taking piano lessons. Particularly, when it comes to helping their student’s practice at home.
Here are a few questions about practicing that you should consider asking your child’s teacher:
How long should my child be practicing every week?
It is always good to have a goal for how long your child should be practicing each week. I love to have discussions with parents about this because it helps parents and me stay on the same page.
There are a lot of things that contribute to how long a student should be practicing each week. A student’s age makes a big difference with practice time. For some students, just 10 or 15 minutes a day is long enough for them to practice based on their age and skill level. While for other students, there may be an expectation for longer periods of practice more frequently. It really depends on the student. What is most important is that students are practicing regularly for a designated amount of time.
Do I need to assist my child in practicing, or can they practice independently?
For younger students, this is a given. Students often are unable to practice without guidance when they are very little. As they get older, they may be able to work more independently during their weekly practice. Once again, this really depends on the individual student.
Really, one of the most important things that a parent can do to assist students in practicing is to hold them accountable. Check in with your student to make sure that they’ve practiced during week. Parents can even help their students track their practice time in their practice log. Accountability from me and parents working together as a team can make a very big difference!
Help! I have no idea how to play the piano! How can I help my child practice technique?
Sometimes, parents who have never played an instrument can be a little bit intimidated when it comes to helping their students practice. They want to help their child to be successful but they don’t know how to read music or play the piano. Truly, that’s okay! You can help your child practice!
This is one of the many reasons why I prefer to have parents sit in on piano lessons. It gives them the opportunity to not only see what their student has been working on, but to also see how I’m instructing them during lessons. This helps with at-home practice. Never be afraid to ask me any questions about technique. Ask questions. You can even try playing things yourself! It is always beneficial for students to have parents be inquisitive about what students are learning in their lessons.
My child won’t practice. What can I do?
Even the best of students will struggle with practicing sometimes. This is very common, and there is no reason to be discouraged. But, if your child is not wanting to practice at home, you definitely need to talk to me!
Sometimes, the solution can be something as simple as setting up a practice routine. If this is the case, we would need to get our heads together to come up with a game plan for establishing a better routine to suit the students. This may be designating certain days of the week for practicing. Also, it might include having a more detailed practice log. The possibilities are endless! Just to to be sure to talk to me so that we can get creative.
Another reason why students maybe struggling with practicing might be because they’re bored with their music. I try to prevent this from happening as much as possible! But, every student is different. Sometimes, they need a break from the routine music that we’re studying in our lesson books. This is why I always try to incorporate other music into their lessons. So, if this is the case with your student, I need to know!
Can I take piano lessons myself?!
YES. You absolutely can take piano lessons! Studying the piano as an adult can be very beneficial to you physically, emotionally and mentally. It isn’t just for children! So, if you want to take piano lessons yourself, you totally can! Just ask!
What other questions do you have for me? I believe that parent should be very involved in their student’s lessons. Because of this, I welcome any and all questions! You can post questions and the comments below, or contact me here.