1. Provide a good in-tune home instrument – a good instrument is paramount to the success of your piano kid’s lessons. Without a way to properly practice at home, your child will feel inadequate come lesson time and will rapidly lose motivation and interest.
2. Attend lessons regularly with all needed materials and a well-rested child – Regular attendance ensures that your child progresses. Progression leads to feelings of self-confidence and achievement. Piano students need their books at every lesson as well as any other materials suggested by their teacher. Keep books organized at home and teach your child learn to be responsible for their materials.
Children learn best when they are well-rested (not only in terms of sleep, but also in terms of “extracurricular over-load”) and when they are healthy. Sick piano kids don’t retain very much… and result in sick piano teachers!
3. Establish a consistent and daily practice routine – Piano lessons are one of the few extracurricular activities that require daily attention. Choose a specific time of day that works for your family (before school, after dinner, after the bath etc.) and make piano practice a regular and consistent event every single day. Avoid times that are hectic or rushed, remove distractions (like the TV or smaller siblings) and try to be in the vicinity to offer encouragement and/or help with piano practice.
4. Be Positive… provide constant encouragement – Comment often on your child’s progress. Remember the names of the pieces they are working on and make requests as you go about your day to encourage regular visits to the piano. Show your pride by sharing videos, photos or musical phone calls with friends and family. Help your child to identify themselves as a “pianist”.
5. Stay involved! Show that you value music by providing live-music opportunities, encouraging your child’s participation in recitals and performances and being a part of their daily practice in some way (even if it’s only as a happy listener). Seek out opportunities to involve music in your daily routines: have a dance party at home to help feel the beat, load your ipod or a CD with a variety of styles of music to listen to in the car like folk and jazz or bluegrass–something to supplement the top 10 songs that the radio plays over and over, find a funny and upbeat tune to wake them up each Friday morning (maybe a little WHAM! Way me up before you go go!), do karaoke in the kitchen! Go to Symphony for Kids and any other live performances you can find, many high schools put on a musical each spring and they are either very inexpensive or even free! Put on a crazy fast song while they clean their room and make the challenge to see how many toys are put away before it ends…..the possibilities are endless!
By being an active member of the “Piano Teaching Triangle of Success” you ensure that your child gets full advantage of the many, many benefits of piano lessons