When parents help kids enjoy the piano, their progress is much faster. With support at home, the child is free to explore the piano.
If the parents are uninvolved, the child can only seek support from the teacher and that may be unavailable or not forthcoming.
If the child feels the parents are happy with what the child has managed to learn, they will want to learn more. If parents are unenthusiastic and unimpressed, the child may decide they are not good at it and give up.
Even so, there are many things that parents have control of and can do to help their child enjoy the piano.
- Find a creative piano teacher.
This requires some research. Ask other parents. Avoid old school, disciplinarian and pedantic teachers. You don’t want an academic, you want a friendly coach.
A piano teacher has to be experienced with kids, and your child will have to enjoy spending a half hour with their personality.
- Teacher’s reputations for strictness and results are meaningless.
A local teacher may be reputed to be a great pianist and quite accomplished, but are they the right person to teach a shy six year old? Ask other parents whose kids have taken lessons with the prospective teacher. Eventually, you will find out what they are really like. Get someone who thoroughly understands kids.
- Don’t set up a strict practice regime.
Let the piano teacher decide what needs to be done. If you really want your kid to play, take it up yourself. Sit on the sofa and ask for a concert from your child, even if only one song. Praise them mightily no matter what.
- Get a good piano.
It doesn’t have to be a $75,000 Steinway, but avoid Grandma’s old piano that has 19 keys stuck, no pedals and can’t be tuned due to age. A small electronic keyboard is fine to get started with.
- Don’t compare your child to any other in terms of the piano.
It is destructive and pointless, since kids vary so widely.
- Play CDs of piano music in your house.
It doesn’t have to be classical, but have the sound of the piano being played well in the background in your house.
- Don’t be too serious about the piano.
See if you can get the child to see the piano as a toy, and get them somehow to go their by themselves. Bribery works.
- Praise every effort they make at the piano.
Even the easiest piece can be difficult for the child to manage. Encourage them.
Just trying the piano is worthy of praise.
Copyright 2017 Walden Pond Press