Our family has recently embarked on a new adventure. Our two oldest children have begun piano lessons. We love music in our house but neither, my wife or myself are exactly musical prodigies. I can strum a few chords on the guitar and she can carry a tune, that’s about the extent of our musical skills to pass on. So, for piano lessons, our kids are basically on their own from a musical perspective. But we have discovered that there are a few tricks we can use to help let them know we support them in this new endeavor.
- 1) Practice With Them – This may seem silly but sometimes when the kids are practicing one of us will have a seat next to them and practice along. This way they get to assume the role of teacher. This helps them understand their lesson better and allows us to have some quality time together. You kids may never remember all the time spent learning those scales, but hopefully they will remember you being there supporting them the whole time. Plus, you might just find yourself having a little fun.
- 2) Find an enjoyable place for practice – Is you piano sitting in the basement or in the garage? If that is the only place you have room then fair enough. But if you are just sticking them there to get them out of hearing range then you are sending a very clear message to them. Also, what fun is it sitting somewhere glooming practicing? Set you kids near a window or in a bright area to help inspire them and keep them from getting the blues.
- 3) Be patient – The truth is, you kid probably isn’t Mozart. Don’t expect them to pick up very quickly. But that is ok. Learning an instrument can be a lot of hard work. It will probably take a few weeks or months before anything sounds very good. Don’t let that discourage them! If you child knows you don’t like them playing they will be ready to quit in a moment’s notice. Let them know you understand how challenging practice can be and that you value their hard work. This might put a smile on their face and give them the boost they need to hunker down.
- 4) Let them have Fun – At the end of the day you child should be enjoying piano. Yes make them practice their assignments, but try and reserve a little time for them to just play and have fun. Let them tinker. Encourage their creative side a little and they will likely stay more interested.
These are just a few ideas to help if your child is starting piano lessons. Try new things and find out what works best for you and your family. Good luck!