Note:If you are an adult student just switch the word "Parent" with "The Responsible Me"
It is well known that repetition is the mother of skill, but how much practice should piano students actually be doing?
If not handled carefully, this question can cause a great deal of tension and misunderstanding between parents and their children.
In today's world, children have an enormous desire to spend time in the digital world. The games, movies and communication possibilities are endless and most adults will admit that they too have difficulties controlling the amount of time they spend in the virtual world. Therefore, before starting the practice session, it would be wise to make sure the area is clear and free of any digital temptations.
In many ways, practicing an instrument is the opposite of spending time on the computer. Instead of the instant gratification and extremely short term attention span of the digital world, here is an opportunity to concentrate and practice perseverance and diligence. Playing the piano can be a source of joy and satisfaction, but it is not only fun and a lot of work has to be done for the music to shine through. Since sitting on the piano bench and watching the clock is not enough, the teacher will show the student and perhaps the parent,(depending on the age of the student) how to use the practice time to get the best results.
The normal beginner piano student should be playing at least 15-20 minutes daily during the first few months and can later increase the practice time to 30-45. Of course, the more concentrated practice one does, the better results one will see. Advanced players will do an hour or two a day and professionals will sit at the piano for most of the day.
The most important issue here is daily contact with the instrument. Even if very short, it makes all the difference. Ideally, the young pianist will happily go over to the piano a few times throughout the day. Some of the time they will practice the pieces assigned by the teacher in the last lesson, some of the time they will be playing older pieces and some of the time they will be exploring and experimenting.
The piano has the enormous advantage of always being ready to be played, with no extras like tuning and assembling which makes it easy to approach spontaneously.
The teacher's task is to build up the motivation in the student and to give them a clear idea of what they should be doing while sitting at the home piano.
The parent's part is to carve out time opportunities throughout the day where the student is reminded and encouraged to play. It is very helpful if the main practice session is built into the daily routine. The spontaneous piano playing times mentioned above can occur freely but the main practice time should be set; it could be after dinner, after having a rest when homework is done or before breakfast - whatever works best. The breakfast idea is not a joke, people really do this!
If the two team members (teacher and parents) are successful, the students will naturally find their way into the wonderful world of music and practicing the piano will become an unquestionable part of their lives.
- What happens when we practice?
- The Secret of slow Practice
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