ADVANCE TO MUSIC
Practice Advice

    Prepare the right environment.

    Keep the piano tuned, and in a good working condition. Make the piano a
    center of attention - there can be a few pictures of your family, or other
    decorations, but no toys  that would create a distraction. If possible, put
    the piano in an area that your child will see often.

    Make sure that there is a proper level of lighting. If the bench is not tall
    enough you can provide a firm pillow, and a small stool on which your child
    can put their feet to maintain a proper position at the piano - your piano
    teacher will let you know what you need.

    The music, and assignment  books should be visible, organized, and easily
    accessible to your child.       
    You can use a beautiful basket or organizer of your choice. Keep at least
    one pen, and two sharp pencils with the piano books - your child will need
    them for the written exercises, and homework assignments.

    Schedule practice time daily, or at least three times per
    week, according to your schedule.

    I have students that practice every day, even on the weekend, and other
    students that do three times a week.  I do not require that my students
    practice every day, however I have noticed that the ones that do learn
    about twice as fast, have a better hand technique, and are more motivated
    than the ones that practice less.

    Choose a time when you,or another member of your
    family will be available to sit with your child.

    It would be best to make piano practice a routine part of  your child's daily
    schedule. Especially in the beginning your participation will be crucial
    because your child will need your guidance to develop a habit of
    consistent practicing.

    Make practice times fun and enjoyable: Have your child " teach" you. This
    will give him/her a chance to repeat what they have learned during the
    lesson. Children LOVE encouraging audience! Also, make sure that your
    child follows the teacher's instructions - everything will be written in the
    student's  assignment book.

    you help them to stay on track.

    What works:

    Explain to your child why practicing is important to them, and to you  
    /enjoying listening to their beautiful piano playing, being proud of them,
    having a great piano recital.../

    Instead of "forcing" the issue, you could offer a reward for the weekend if
    your child practices certain number of times during the week... To keep
    track of practices you could use a chart, or stickers.

    Some parents have shared with me that they tell their children that they
    can only watch TV, play        games, or do whatever they enjoy best, after
    they are done with their piano practice for the day.
    According to them this works great.

    When you show your commitment, your child will follow.

    Spend time with him/her at the piano on a regular basis- listening, helping,
    reading from the assignment book. If these times together are important to
    you, practicing will be important to your child.

    Consistently encourage them to practice on your scheduled days/ times.
    Bring them regularly to their piano lessons. Try to keep rescheduling to a
    minimum, and mostly for health related reasons.

    Give your child every opportunity to perform.

    Make sure that your child takes advantage of every opportunity to perform
    at piano recitals,   talent shows at school, even at home for visiting family
    members .Show appreciation of their achievements. Children love
    attention, and performing encourages them to practice, and get better.

    On a funny note: a few of my students' parents shared with me that on
    several occasions their children spontaneously sat and played some of
    their pieces at music stores, at school, even at COSTCO, and were very
    encouraged by the people that gathered around to listen to them, and
    praised their performances.     

    All parents want their children to progress and succeed in every area of
    their life. I really hope that learning how to play the piano will be one of
    them, and that your child will enjoy music for life.

    Rosie Mace


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