Giving your child piano lessons is one of the most precious gifts imaginable. Playing the piano is great fun, exciting and puts a huge range of music at your child’s fingertips. As well as a creative outlet, it also provides a range of benefits including:
Better concentration, coordination, perseverance and resilience
Boosts reading and maths skills
Overall cognitive/mental health and well-being
Having decided to send your child for lessons, you now have a vital role to play in supporting them. There are 10,080 minutes in the week, and the lesson takes up 30 of those minutes. It’s up to the teacher to light the spark that inspires the child to practise for the rest of the week. As parents, it’s your job to help them stay on track. If you’re reading this and starting to worry that you’ve had little or no musical training yourself, fear not! Here are five ways you can help:
Establish a practice schedule and help them stick to it. It’s best to practise at the same time each day.
Praise them for their effort (rather than their cleverness or talent). This helps to establish a growth mindset and encourages perseverance.
Set a timer. This is particularly good for young children.
Send a recording to the teacher in the middle of the week. This provides a goal for the first few days of the week and allows for feedback from the teacher.
Be their biggest fan! Listen to them perform regularly and encourage them to play for family/friends. This will do wonders for their self esteem.
In short, you'll have to take on a variety of roles. As they progress you'll notice you have to do less and less over time to facilitate practice sessions and sustain their motivation. When they're going to the instrument independently, planning the session themselves and working efficiently you'll know you did your job in the beginning.