How to Help your Homeschool Student be Successful with Piano Lessons
[Today’s article was written by Susie Kolterman and is part of the 31 Days of Music in Our Homeschool Series.]
Today I’d like to give you some tips to help your homeschool student be successful with piano lessons. Playing piano is something that I have always done. I do not remember asking to take piano lessons nor had one else in the family taken any musical lessons, but at the age of four, my mom found a teacher, sat by me in lessons and had me practice each day. My parents supported my lessons through high school as I also learned to play the organ and then the saxophone. Music rang through our house as I played the hymns from our Sunday service or prepare our hearts for the Christmas season with the carols of the season.
As an adult, I am so grateful to my mom and dad for their support of my learning to play the piano. I did not become a master in the art but I LOVE to play! I enjoy accompanying hymns with children’s choirs or musical solos at local contests. To be the foundation for others to ascend their heavenly sounds gives me such great joy.
As a mother, I have now found the love in helping others find the joy in making the music which God created within them from the beginning. Teaching piano is a joy and creating students who also have the joy is an answered prayer.
As a teacher, there are several keys to the success of a child learning the love of a musical instrument.
- Find the right instructor
- Is my child ready for piano lessons?
- Are they committed to the practice needed to learn the skill?
The first key is a good relationship between student and teacher. Meet the teacher, watch their interactions and instructions, and determine if their personality and goals fit your child and your family. Each teacher has priorities and goals for their students and as your child progresses that teacher may change to fit your new goals for your child. Keep communicating with your child’s teacher about their progress and or about questions or concerns that may have arose during the time between lessons.
Another key to success is age and maturity of child. For traditional piano, one must be able to sit and be attentive for the lesson time. Having an awareness of which is the right and left hands helps in the progression of learning the keys and notes. Not all children are ready at four or five; it may be at age eight that your child is ready for the piano. Starting lessons again after a time away when the child is more ready can also prove to be very successful!!
Practice! Practice! Practice! No skill is learned without time being involved. Practice should begin with 15 minutes for 4 days per week and increase as the level of music increases. The first day after a lesson is the most important day of practice as they will have the greatest recollection of the music taught during the lessons. Set a specific time in their day for practicing and make it a priority of joy. Keep the positive spirit alive!! And give grace, some weeks are just busy and we are not ready for our lesson time. One week of missed practices will not keep a child from learning over time.
Remember, the goal….to create a lifetime student of music!!