The kids have been out of school for a few weeks. And, extra curricular activities probably went on hiatus as well. So, how do you get your child ready for a new year of piano lessons?
The result of a break in playing
Anytime we take a break from something, there will be some regression.
This is not to make anyone feel guilty. We all need breaks at times.
But, that does mean that your child will feel a little (or a lot) hesitant about playing pieces “at level” those first lessons back. Especially if they did not play piano at all over the break.
5 tips for piano parent
To help your child feel excited and ready to go back to lessons, follow these 5 tips!
- Ask them to play some of their all-time favourite pieces.
- Do a countdown until lessons begin!
- Talk about what your child is really proud of accomplishing or doing before the holidays.
- Follow up by asking what your child is really excited about or hoping to do in the lessons coming up.
- Listen to lots of music together. What did you like? What did you think should have been changed?
When you ask your child to play their all-time favourite pieces, you are doing two things.
- Keeping a set of pieces ready for performance.
- Your child is “practicing” without realizing it. And, the important review needed happens with a smile on his or her face.
Much like helping our children learn to read, keep the review experience as positive as possible.
Play music in your home
Growing up, the radio was always playing in our home. And, if it was not the radio it was a record/tape/CD. I loved having this music playing in the background. And, it also helped me when I was ready to practice since I could emulate the “Greats” in whichever genre I had been listening to.
One of the most important things you can do as a piano parent is surround your child with great music.Ms. Rosemarie
When your child consistently hears and interacts with music, they develop a sense of what sounds good and what they like to listen to. It also gives your child an auditory vocabulary (or lexicon) that will inspire their own playing!
The fun consequences
In our home, this exposure to a wide variety of music has led to some fun consequences.
Our twins will often sing different lyrics to songs. “I am having cer-eal. Yes! I’m going to have cereal. For my break-fast. This morning!” All sung to the tune of “We’re Not Gonna Take It (Anymore)” by Twisted Sister.
Or, we have impromptu dance parties which can start for the strangest reasons. One of the boys will do something that reminds him of a song, like “Fly Like an Eagle” by the Steve Miller Band and this ends up to a full out dance party by the time we get to “Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. (Though the Marvin Gaye version holds a special place in my heart.)
Plus, it just is not a true road trip until we have changed the chorus of “Sweet Home Alabama” to “sweet home Alberta”. Bonus points if we are driving past the border at the time.
These are the memories that our twins will remember when they get older. Not the chores or doing homework. Even though all those things need to get done as well.
Music brings families together and creates a special space unique to them.
What musical memories are you making with your child this week?Ms. Rosemarie
First days back at lessons
At Must Love Music, students are asked at various points during the year (including after a break in lessons) for a personal musical goal they have. It could be a particular song to learn, mastering a set number of songs, or improve in a particular skill set.
While your child’s teacher will probably spend a short portion of time discussing this with your child, a little time at home really helps.
“What is ONE thing you like to accomplish in piano lessons?”
“Umm. I’m not sure?”
Your child’s teacher and you are on the same side. You both want your child to have the best possible piano lesson experience possible!
Encouraging students to take ownership of their learning through personal goal setting is part of this process.
When your child really talks up a particular song, ask them if it is something they are hoping to learn at some point in piano lessons. If the answer is yes, contact your child’s teacher to let him or her know. Perhaps they have music or can begin teaching it to your child at the next lesson!
Getting Ready For a New Year of Piano Lessons
A little preparation both at and away from the piano can make a world of difference in how your child sees going back to piano lessons.
Keep it fun and light. Let your child know their opinion is valued.
And just like Christmas, perhaps an excited countdown to first day of piano lessons.
If you would like to learn more about being a piano parent, click below.