The age to start piano lessons depends on the child. Some teachers will say no earlier than 6 years old. And other teachers start as early as 3 years old. Who is right?
Congratulations! You have joined the ranks of piano parents! You may not be standing on the sidelines yelling, but you play just as much of a role in how successful your child will be in lesson.
What do piano parents do?
Being a piano parent is a pretty awesome role!
You are the parent that:
- Cheers when your child completes a song or has a breakthrough.
- Helps your child learn time management through a practice routine.
- Supports your child as he (or she) learns how to verbally and musically express ideas, emotions, stories, etc.
- Guides your child through navigating the practice page.
- Encourages your child to ask questions when he or she is unsure.
- Steps in as the ‘student’ when your child needs to talk something out.
- Lets your child know how proud you are of them.
Notice that some of this happens during lesson. But, most of it happens during the week.
In between lessons
Piano parents play a huge role in success between lessons. Because your child’s teacher is not involved in what happens in between lessons, that responsibility falls to you and your child. The younger your child, the more that responsibility falls to you, as the parent.
Why do they forget?
My children are growing up fast, but there are still many thing they need to be reminded of. “Did you brush your teeth?” “Did you pack your lunch?”
Even if my children have been doing something on their own for years, there are times they forget.
And, anything new needs continual reminders by us, as parents, to ensure our children follow through on their responsibilities. Even though there are moments we would just like to take a break from ‘adulting’.
The short explanation for these memory lapses is that our children’s bodies and minds are going through so much growth, it can be hard to remember it all.
Thankfully the older our children get, the more responsibility we can give them. But, that does not change the fact that they still need encouragement, a listening ear, and the occasional reminder. After all, we all forget sometimes.
A Team Effort
Piano lessons are not just a relationship between student & teacher. It is a team effort between student, teacher & parent.
Piano parents play such a large part of this team effort because you:
- Have lots of experience helping your child through different stages of life
- Control, to a much great extent than anyone else, the weekly schedule
- Are the adult who supports your child during the week (the piano teacher does not have this option)
- Can be the ‘go-between’ when there is a miscommunication between your child & their teacher.
- Know your child better than anyone else
Perhaps you do not consider yourself a musical person. “I have never played piano. How am I supposed to support my child?”
Neither of my parents learnt how to play a musical instrument. And, yet they had a daughter who was determined to learn how to play piano.
Supporting my piano learning became more natural for them over time. But, there was a learning curve that they went through.
While my parents were not able to help me read the music, what I remember the most about their support was:
- Praise & comments on my hard work
- Ensuring the piano was regularly tuned so I had a great instrument to play on
- Making it possible for me to share my piano playing with others
They even one summer enrolled me in a weekly long immersive organ course. Turns out that I was not interested in pursuing organ afterward. But, I did have a much great understanding of keyboard instruments afterwards that had a positive impact on my piano playing.
Much like becoming a parent for the first time, piano parents go through the same highs & lows as they figure out how this “piano practice thing” works.
To learn how to support your child during week, click below!
There is plenty of research that shows learning an instrument has long lasting neurological benefits. But, what about the life lessons that children learn through music?
As parents, we want to give our children the best life possible & give them every advantage possible. This includes extra curricular activities like piano lessons. Especially when we read that it can help them in school.
Two terms that come up a lot in music lessons are pulse & rhythm. And there is good reason for that.
Imagine your child is humming a song … rather off key. Could you tell which song they are singing?
Imagine your child was humming a song perfectly … but the rhythm sounds suspiciously like a Newton’s Cradle is keeping time. Would you still be able to tell which song they are singing?
Rhythm & pulse work together in perfect harmony (pun unintended) to add that special something to each song.
Many new piano parents & their children wonder “What are piano lessons like?” It can be a source of excitement for some children. And for some, it is a source of anxiety before that first lesson.
The short answer is what piano lessons look & sound like depends on the teacher you choose. We all have different approaches & philosophies. And while this can be overwhelming to a new piano parent, the great news is that you have a much better chance of finding the teacher that is perfect for your child!
Very rarely does piano practice sound like playing from the beginning of the song to the end. And, honestly? Sometimes it doesn’t sound good at all. But that’s what effective practice is about. Getting better at the things we aren’t good at.
And, depending on the student level of playing piano practice sounds very different.
The options today for extra curricular activities can be overwhelming. Both for the child and well-meaning parents. So, what IS the best option for your child? There are 3 options that tend to be the most popular extra-curricular activities. But, what are the differences between music lessons, sports and dance?
Not every child will excel in any given activity. And, that’s okay. Just like you and I had different interests as we grew up, so will our children.