- Set aside time each day that will always be “piano practice time”. Post a schedule on your fridge and stick to it as best you can. Your children will appreciate a predictable routine right now. Practice is more likely to happen if it takes place at the same time each day. I recommend practicing in the morning as your children will be fresh and free from other distractions that will inevitably happen over the course of a day.
- Try to be present during your children’s practice, even if you are just listening. Depending on age, your children may need basic assistance (organizing materials, reading my lesson notes, troubleshooting) or they may simply appreciate your physical presence in the room. Sit and have your morning cup of coffee as your children make music. You’ll likely look forward to this “break from reality” too!
- Keep your piano area free from distractions. For piano to become a happy reprieve, turn off the TV, remove younger siblings or pets and make the practice space welcoming. Be sure to declutter and organize materials so they are easily at hand. Your children may enjoy taking on the project of creating a “piano practice nest” (making their piano area cozy and welcoming).
- Be encouraging and positive about your children’s attempts at the piano. Don’t worry about fixing mistakes you may hear (that’s my job!) and instead be a cheerleader to your children’s learning efforts. Mistakes can be easily fixed. Right now, the focus should be on being enthusiastic about the learning process.
- Provide “reasons” for your children to practice. I know that family members who are not in physical contact with you right now would LOVE to have recorded performances or live FaceTime performances of your children’s music-making. Prepping for any sort of performance can be very motivating to children.
- Play piano games with your children! We all are finding ourselves with extra moments in our days now when we would normally be driving around to extracurricular activities. Take advantage of this newly-acquired time and have some fun while building important musical skills. I have digital piano games I can send you to print off and “craft” if you are interested!
In a time when your children’s schedules and routines have been turned upside down, there is one thing that can remain: music! Music has always given people hope, and people have always turned to music in difficult times.
With all of the changes that have happened so rapidly in our children’s lives, the piano can be very helpful in maintaining a sense of normalcy in the weeks and months ahead. During these times of physical distancing, your children will find themselves with more free time. Playing the piano can help fill the void that the loss of other activities has created while also providing a sense of purpose, control, and accomplishment.
I will continue to strive to provide fun, motivating material that they will be excited to practice and I look forward to helping the piano be a constant in their lives during this time.
As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!