Over the last year of producing this podcast, one of my favorite things has become the parent interviews. I have really enjoyed chatting with parents from my studio and other studios to learn how they motivate their children and help them face the challenges that come with piano lessons.
One of the last things I ask them is to share their experience and offer words of advice for parents of new piano students. This week I’ve put together a compilation of all the answers from parent interviews so far.
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Don’t let your child quit too soon. Finish your commitments.
Frustration is okay.
If something is worth learning, it is worth working for.
Be patient ~ It won’t happen all at once.
Practicing is as much your duty as it is your child’s.
Find something specific to compliment your child on when they are finished practicing. Make the compliment genuine.
Take time and do the research to find a compatible teacher for your child.
Help them find music they enjoy playing.
Start little and stay consistent.
Be involved in their practice because I’ve never seen a kid who doesn’t love to spend time with their parents.
As a parent, don’t make remarks that place blame on the student such as, “well if you practiced more, then you wouldn’t have done so bad.” Help your child to take some accountability and think more toward the future than the past: “What do you think we could do to do better next time? Let’s work together with your teacher on a plan to make that goal!”
Mom: The child has to enjoy lessons themselves. Parents, don’t push your child into something they don’t want. If they enjoy it and want to do it, then encourage them and brag on them. Be patient. As time goes on, they’ll get better and better and then you’ll be just as proud of them as I am of my daughter.
Dad: When they’re playing their pieces, walk over and ask them to show you how they did that. Let them teach you. Here is your link to Episode 009: Let your child watch you learn something new.
Make practice less of a chore and more of just part of your routine.
Realize that each child learns differently. Some may struggle at times and some may just take off with natural abilities. You are there to encourage and help develop their talents and help them enjoy the process.
Keep the joy in it! Don’t rob your kids of the joy that music can bring – to themselves, to their family members, to other people. Sometimes we parents can have tunnel vision about certain musical objects and that can rob the whole joy out of music to that it just becomes another task.
Guard your child’s practice time and piano studies. Do everything in your power to keep it from being a negative experience.
Parents need to provide the stability for their children to practice. Make it part of their routine; something they know needs to be done.
As a mom, there have been times when I didn’t think Eva was making progress like she should. Eva wasn’t frustrated or bored but, without a gauge to measure against, I wasn’t sure if she was moving forward. Then all of a sudden she would make huge leaps in her playing ability.
This has taught me to be patient and consistent. Even if it seems like she is not improving when she plays music she has already mastered, she is playing the piano. That activity is building neural pathways in her brain; I just can’t see it at the moment.
Thank you so much for listening to the Piano Parent Podcast and thank you for helping me celebrate our first birthday. I hope you and your piano kid enjoy a fun treat together to celebrate!