Piano lessons are somewhat of a rite of passage for kids – everyone out there who’s taken lessons, raise your hand!
Unfortunately, many kids begin, and then practice, then practice less, then practice even less. A few years later, they finally quit lessons. The kids can’t play much, but the parents are several hundreds or thousands of dollars poorer. How can you help your child succeed with piano lessons?
I can speak to this. I took lessons from grade 2 until junior year of high school, and I still play frequently, both for fun and for profit (playing organ and piano for churches, choirs, ballet studios and weddings). I also have given piano lessons for years.
The number one tip to help your child succeed with piano lessons is to sit with him or her as he practices. It helps if you can play piano (at least a little) yourself, but even if you can’t, trust me – you still probably can figure it out better than he/she can at first.
My mom always helped my sister and I with our practice sessions, and I do the same with my girls. Now that my kids have taken a few years, I usually supervise just the first day or two of practice each week. I make sure they are getting the rhythms correct, the notes right, the “feel” of the piece. If I didn’t do this, my kids would likely be playing several things incorrectly, and they would learn these mistakes, which would be much more difficult to correct later.
Also, sitting with your child as they practice shows her that you value lessons. You are making them a priority, and she will be more likely to as well.
Yes, this takes some effort. But if you’re going to make the commitment to take piano lessons, isn’t it worth a bit of effort to ensure that it’s as successful as possible?