This might be the one question instrumental teachers ask the most in a lifetime…yet, what do students interpret that question to mean? More importantly, what do parents interpret that question to mean?
What does “practice” mean?
- playing songs from beginning to end, and then repeating again?
- play though assignments every other day? everyday?
- how much time should I practice? 30 minutes a day? 45 minutes a day? an hour a day?
And then, parents might wonder, How do I help my child at home?
- do I set up a schedule of practice?
- do I sit with him/her and listen or not?
- do I put a timer to make sure she/he is practicing enough?
- should it be EVERYDAY?
All these are very valid concerns on both parents’ and students’ part. There is SO MUCH more to this small word called “practice.” In the midst of some misconceptions, we can agree on some basic assumptions:
- as parents, you know that learning to play the piano brings many life benefits beyond just music.
- as parents, you always have the best intentions when you deal with your children.
- as parents, you would love to be able to help your children in everything, if possible.
- as parents, you want to provide the best of everything to your children, if possible.
With all this in mind, allow me to share some things you should assume about me, the piano teacher:
- as a teacher, I want my students to know that learning to play the piano will develop many life skills beyond making music.
- as a teacher, I want my student to understand that any and every assignment instruction given to them has the goal of helping them develop to their full potential.
- as a teacher, I want to give the BEST training and instruction to each and every one of my students.
- as a teacher, I want to develop a strong and lasting relationship with my students’ parents.
I really hope that you already assumed some of these about me. Because both you and I want to see your child succeed, it is of utmost importance to cooperate and work as a team. I want to provide both parents and students with practice tips to implement at home. I want my students to learn that there is such as a thing as efficient practice and wasting time. I want parents to realize that just because the child is sitting at the piano and playing something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are learning and progressing.
I am passionate about my calling. I am passionate about my students success. Please don’t get offended if I suggest changes at home practice; remember, every student is different and we must try different approaches. Lets work together because, again, learning to play the piano brings so many other life skills and benefits; whether you realize it or not, you are giving your child a priceless, timeless gift.
From time to time, I will be posting practice tips that might help make practice time a bit more efficient. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your family’s life.