Monday, February 22, 2010

How Can I Help My Child Learn Piano? Practice

Why should your child practice? get better at the skill of playing piano.
How should your child practice? Slowly, in small sections, hands alone and then hands together.
When should your child practice? Everyday that they eat. I have given them one day off, so they should be practicing six days a week in order to get better.

The assignment sheet should be helping your child practice. It is a reminder of what we did in the lesson and what should be accomplished during the week.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How Can I Help My Child Learn Piano? Concerts

My next suggestion for parents supporting their child with piano study is to provide opportunities for them to hear excellent pianists perform. During live performances they can see what the pianist is doing to make the wonderful sounds come out of the piano and observe how to act when performing.

We have a perfect opportunity for your child on Friday, March 19th. Alexander Ghindin, winner of the 2007 Cleveland Int'l Piano Competition, will perform at St. Luke's in Jamestown. It is free for students. I will take anyone who wishes to go with me. However, you too, as parents, can attend for only $10 and have an enjoyable evening with your child listening to great music. Let me know if you'd like tickets.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How Can I Help My Child Learn Piano? Eyes

Students learning piano need to focus on the music, just like reading a book. The eyes need to be on the writing so they can see what is coming up next quickly. When they constantly look at their hands, they will lose their place in the writing which will cause the speed of the piece to be inconsistent. There is greater accuracy in reading when the eyes are focused on the music.

This is not to say that they should never look at the hands as there are times when we need to see where we are going, especially if it is a large leap. However, when the hands are not moving out of "position", the eyes should be reading music not checking where the fingers are on the keys.

How can you as a parent help? Check to see where there eyes are as you walk by and gently remind them to keep their eyes on the music as much as possible. Looking at hands unnecessarily is a habit that needs to be broken with practice looking at music.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How Can I Help My Child Learn Piano? Demonstration

Each week I have been giving parents ideas for how to help their child practice piano at home. The home practice time is where the "real" learning should take place. I, as the teacher, present new concepts during the lesson for the student to go home and practice until the concept is easy.

This week, maybe two or three days after the lesson, ask your child what did you learn in your lesson this week and see if they can demonstrate it or explain it to you. If not, have them review the assignment sheet for any clues to help them remember. They should also review the written words in the lesson books. Many times we forget to read the words and just go directly to playing the music. This review will help to keep the concepts fresh in their minds.