What Every Piano Parent Should Know
Updated: Oct 13, 2019
1). Learning an instrument takes time. Lots of time. Years, in fact. Quite a few years to get reasonably proficient! Sometimes the short view can threaten to take over and a parent can feel overwhelmed, discouraged, start comparing their child with someone else’s, or wonder why this takes so long and why is teacher seemingly fixated on certain techniques? Take heart. Just as we have preschool through Grade 12 (13 or 14 years of education), what a child is doing for math concepts at age 5 is quite different from math concepts at age 15! And we don’t get discouraged over that! Skills take time, consistency and the long view. Anything worth mastering is worth mastering well.
2). It can be very, very, very difficult to sit quietly and watch your son or daughter do poorly at lessons when you KNOW that practises went wonderfully at home- and then you sit in my studio and Susie proceeds to play in such a way as to convince you that she will NEVER learn and that I as the teacher must be appalled. No, I’m not (well, I can be if not much practise happened and this was the result!). The brain is a mysterious thing- the process of learning is constant and shifting and the brain must solidify things it uses and discard things it doesn’t. I know this- AND it happens to me when I practise and perform, too! Just sit back and realize that not only does this happen to everyone, it is perfectly normal, and I am not appalled. No need to apologise.
3). This is work. You are the parent, so you are in charge of how this happens at home- games, incentives, stuffy recitals- you are the motivator until such a time as your child develops intrinsic motivation (I aim to have your child intrinsically motivated before high school). So be the best cheerleader you can be and throw the parties! I support you 100%!
If you can commit to having a piano at home and realize that an instrument takes years to learn; to get your child to the piano to practise daily; to listen and learn at lessons and apply at home; and make this a special time for you and your child, then you are well on your way to knowing what every piano parent should know!