Parents Corner

Hi Mums and Dads!

I want to congratulate you on your decision to give your child a musical experience that invests in your child's future. In making it possible for your child to play the piano, you are providing the opportunity for self-expression, creativity and achievement.

Numerous studies indicate that parental attitudes, support and involvement are important factors in a child's ability to successfully learn to play and to enjoy music.

Like any skill, interest counts far more than talent. You don't need any musical training whatsoever to make a tremendous difference to your child's music lessons. With the right support from you, playing music will become a natural part of your child's life.

You can help your child by:

  • Being genuinely interested
  • Praising your child's efforts and achievements
  • Reflecting on the week's practice and goals to achieve
  • Scheduling a consistent daily practice time
  • Providing a quiet place in which they can practice
  • Being enthusiastic about the piece they are learning
  • Conducting mid-week checks to make sure they are up to speed with their scheduled practice task

Please Do ...

  • Encourage your child to play for family and friends
  • Listen to your child's practice and acknowledge improvement
  • Offer compliments and encouragement regularly
  • Encourage your child to talk with you about his or her lessons
  • Encourage your child to make a commitment to learning music
  • Allow your child to play many types of music
  • Help your child build a personal music library
  • Expose your child to a wide variety of music, including concerts and recital

Please Dont ...

  • Use practice as a punishment
  • Insist your child play for others when they don't want to
  • Ridicule or make fun of mistakes or less-than-perfect playing
  • Apologize to others for your child's weak performance
  • Set too high expectations and put pressure on your child
  • Have your child playing on an instrument that's inadequate or in poor condition

Don't worry if your child ...

1. Plays a song really well at home but makes a lot of mistakes in class

The excitement of the class, and having the teacher there tend to make them nervous.

2. Wants to play everything really fast

This is partly because of their energy level and partly because they think that they are doing it better if they play faster. Encourage them to pay attention to the recommended speed and not to change it greatly.

3. Says, "I don't have to do that because my teacher didn't say so"

This problem is very common and if it happens just let the teacher know so she can straighten it out or settle the dispute.

4. Doesn't want to practice for very long at one time

Remember that children have a short attention span and this makes it difficult for them to sit still for long periods of time. Here are some practicing tips:

  • Many short sessions are better than a long one
  • If your child gets frustrated during the practice, go on to something else or take a break
  • Don't have your child's practice time interrupt things that are important to them such as watching their favourite T.V. show or playing with a friend. Making them sacrifice something they like will only make them resent music
  • Pick practice times when your child is fresh and alert

5. Loses interest

Here are some suggestions if this happens:

  • Discuss the situation with your child to determine why their interest is declining
  • Talk to the music teacher to see what might be done to rekindle their motivation
  • Encourage your child to keep attending lessons
  • Offer increased enthusiasm and support

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