Piano & Metronome
It should go without saying, but all students will need to have a piano at home for daily practicing. This is non-negotiable as without regular practice, a student will become extremely frustrated.
We recommend a tuned acoustic piano, however a digital piano with 88 weighted and “touch sensitive” keys plus proper foot pedals is acceptable for early levels.
All students will eventually need a metronome as it is an essential tool for learning any musical instrument. We can advise on an appropriate one, or there are many metronome apps available for smartphones and tablets.
Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the most important things that a student has to learn when undertaking piano lessons, is how to practice. Most children until the age of about 12 years old, are incapable of self-motivated practice and really need the support of a parent to help them through. This means piano lessons for a child are not only a commitment for the student but also the parent! Students have to learn not only how to practice but also how to commit to practice. Forming new habits is not easy as anyone who has decided to take up running or start flossing their teeth will have discovered. We as the teacher and you as the parent need to help a brand new student to encourage forming the “Piano Practice” habit. Here are a few suggestions to help you:
- Explaining the importance of regular daily practice:
Regular practice = progress. Simple as that. Tell your child that without doing a little bit every day (or at least 5 or 6 days), it is virtually impossible to gain any real competence at the piano. How long a student should practice is a difficult question to answer because it will depend on the student’s ability and level, but generally 20 minutes a day for a beginner, ranging to 60 minutes for an intermediate to advanced student or someone studying for an exam.
Find a time that will form part of a consistent daily routine that suits you and your child. Stick to it. Try and make practice occur at the same time each and every day, in an undisturbed, quiet space.
Encourage your child to practice every day. Children will need to be reminded to practice, sometimes firmly. How to practice effectively will be discussed during the piano lesson as well as written down in weekly assignments.
- Be there:
Most 4 to 12 year olds will find sitting at the piano all by themselves to practise quite difficult (there are exceptions of course). Be prepared to sit with you child, or be actively listening nearby for at least 5-10 mins for most of their practice sessions. Ask them questions – Which part did you find the hardest? Can you clap the rhythm of that section? In other words, be directly involved.
- Don’t give up too easily:
Stick with it, and encourage your child to stick with it. Learning the piano is not easy, if it were, everyone would be doing it. But it is extremely rewarding and will give your child so much in the way of cognitive, emotional and creative development. No one ever gets to be an adult and says “I wish i’d never learnt to play the piano” – it’s always the exact opposite.
At the Studio
We expect students to arrive on time with their books each week.
Please remind your children to develop the habit of clipping nails and washing hands before lesson time.
Students may wait outside the studio briefly before or after lessons, but this is not an appropriate waiting area for extended periods of time.