Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Note to Parents on Piano Lessons

Many parents tell me their kids don't practise or are reluctant to take piano seriously.

Ask yourself if you've ever put piano lessons as a top priority IN THEIR EYES.

Before you sigh about why your child isn't taking it seriously consider if you are ready to say to the rest of your family that you'll have to pass on a dinner outing because your child hasn't practised today. 

Because there is a marked difference in the families of the kids who do well, and those who barely get enough practice to scrape thru' each grade.

So parents,

-if you're not prepared to give up that birthday party, or go a little later, or leave a little earlier;

-if you simply MUST go to the airport (yes, all 14 of you) to meet a relative coming in from out of town;

-if everybody HAS to have dinner at the same time all the time;

-if same-age playmates drop in and your sense of fairness means everyone gets to play at the same time (despite there being undone homework)...

then don't grumble that your child isn't taking piano seriously. Because in MY eyes you're not taking it seriously either.

The secret to being a successful piano student? 

- if it's not urgent or critical, don't change lesson time. what's urgent / important / critical? If it's something that you would be prepared to forfeit your lesson for - out of town vacations, award ceremony, medical appointment, deaths, weddings, illness, other CCA exam / performances - then it's a valid reason. Having the day off and wanting to spend time with your kids isn't the best reason but if you let me know early I can make arrangements.

- if they've not practised, they don't get to go out or do anything that is "less" important than piano - including: reading time, tv time, computer time, play time, and yes, sometimes, mealtimes!

- set a fixed piano practice time and STICK TO IT. This means if maths homework is being done and 3 o'clock comes around, stop the h/w, practise piano, THEN resume maths homework.

Harsh? That's how you send a message to your child that PIANO IS IMPORTANT and not something you can put off when other things pop up.

It's not for everyone, I agree, but I'm just saying, if you want your child to think of it as being a priority, then YOU'VE got to make it a priority. If you don't, then they won't. And practising will be the LAST thing they'll do.

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