- It’s not practicing, it’s playing
Sometimes the verb “practicing” can feel heavy, and can signal to your child that you want them to do “work”. Some kids may feel overwhelmed already by the homework they are given at school. The next time you want your child to practice piano, why not ask them to play the piano? This simple rephrasing could be a positive way to get your child to practice piano more frequently. Treat the piano like a cool toy that they can play with. It’s a start!
- Set short term and long term goals… and give rewards!
Kids love to be rewarded! Who doesn’t love rewards? Depending on the age of the child, a simple sticker can be quite motivating. Teachers use stickers in the classroom because they are inexpensive and effective. They’re also an immediate prize that the child can earn—there’s no waiting period. Tell your child that if they practice piano for 15 minutes continuously, they will earn a sticker. Long-term goals could be that if they get a certain amount of stickers (by practice piano regularly for a longer period of time), they will earn a larger prize. Be creative, and find out what works best for your child to keep them motivated.
- Use practice games
Children love games, and when it comes to piano practice there are lots of ways to have fun and be creative. A good practice time game will have a clear and specific goal with results attached, but within those guidelines, your imagination is the only limit.
Practice Game ideas:
Practice Charts: One very common game is to use a practice chart for a piano student to mark during each practice session. Decide what you’d like to track and improve, such as cheerful attitude or how many minutes spent at the piano. For many children, just tracking their progress is reward enough, but you may want to offer a favorite activity or treat when your child has reached certain practice time goals.
Above all, games should be positive. Don’t set objectives too high. Children will enjoy games most if they can be successful 85% of the time or more. Use your imagination, be creative, and find out what clicks for your piano student.
- Pick one or two things to focus on
Working on too many things at once can get overwhelming. Therefore, the teachers at the OSMD focus on practicing a few key areas each week. This will keep them focused and more likely to succeed!
- Repeat, repeat, repeat
Practice makes perfect! Nothing is more rewarding than being successful, especially when learning a hard piece. Have the student play the material they are practicing over and over again, even if it’s just a measure or two. Repetition makes the student better more than any other single aspect of practice. The better the student feels they are doing, the more fun they’ll have playing.
If you would like you child to take piano lessons, check out our website for more information! We have fabulous piano teachers at OSMD! Come and try them out today! www.omahaschoolofmusicanddance.com/piano-lessons-omaha-ne.