Parents can help their kids greatly with piano lessons. You can’t just hire a piano teacher and sit back.
1. Choose an appropriate piano teacher. If the child doesn’t like the teacher, choose another. You need someone who understands kids.
2. Watch your child’s response to the teacher. Do they play at home by themselves, or are they disengaged and confused by the piano?
3. Don’t hover over the child or demand that they practice. If they are not enjoying playing, you have a teacher problem.
4. Don’t become a surrogate teacher unless you have the proper musical skills. You can observe, but don’t comment unless it is positive.
5. Consider the placement of the instrument in your home. Usually, a high-traffic place works best, but some kids like to work alone, so consider gettting an inexpensive electronic keyboard and putting it in their room.
6. Become the child’s audience, their cheering section. The piano is so difficult that you should praise any effort.
7. The most sure-fire way to get your child to play is to start playing yourself. They will love to see you grappling with the same problems as they are. It also gives the child a chance to teach you, and this leads to a rapid rise in self-esteem.
8. Everything follows from the choice of teacher. Choose the right teacher and all will probably go well.
If you’ve chosen the wrong teacher, listen to your child’s complaints, and there will be many. If your child hates it, stop the lessons.
9. There is a “knack” to the piano, and not everyone has it. Additionally, this knack is often completely hidden in younger kids, who are still struggling with their developing brains. So patience on the part of the parent is essential.
10. Don’t compare your child’s piano skills to anyone else’s. It is extremely destructive to a child. Kids cannot control the development of their brains, and each child develops extremely differently.
Protect your child from such comparisons: this is why, for many kids, piano recitals are poisonous. Let them develop at their own pace.
You and the teacher have to allow the child to fail repeatedly and yet somehow get back on the horse again. It takes a lot of support for kids to manage this.
Learn how to happily fail and repeat. That is the hardest part of the piano for kids.
Copyright 2017 Walden Pond Press