Piano Keys for Parents - Six Laws for Supporting Your Child in Piano Lessons

Cynthia VanLandingham

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The Law of Focus – What we focus on gets our attention.

At the beginning of the piano journey, like any new and exciting adventure, our energy and enthusiasm levels are high. As parents, our focus is solely on helping our children achieve their piano dreams. Writing down the goals and dreams that first motivated you to give your child the gift of piano lessons provides a reminder that will keep your energy focused over the long term.

The Law of Commitment – Commitment is the glue that holds our priorities in tact.

Start by committing to provide the financial resources necessary to ensure your child’s piano efforts are not in vain. In addition to lessons, this includes the purchase of an adequate piano or keyboard to learn on.

The Law of Encouragement – Follow the Rule of “Seven to One. "

Give your child seven encouragements to every critique. And remember, if you use the word "but" in your sentence, it doesn’t count. Here are a few examples you shouldn’t try to follow. “She practices, but not enough!" “He plays, but only what he enjoys!" “She likes music, but she can’t sing a note!" Statements like they aren’t effective. Here’s the message piano students need to hear - “Your effort matters and it makes a difference. " This is accomplished better with pure encouragement. For example, “Cool! I like the way you…. . (Period, end of sentence. )" Use and instead of but. For example, “I really like listening to you play, and I never get tired of hearing you practice!" “Wow! That piece is sounding really spiffy, and it just keeps getting better! By the recital it’s going to be awesome!"

The Law of Character – The best way to love children is with character.

To do this, remember that your child is a different character than you are! View him or her as an individual, and give them the resources needed to develop their musical potential.

The Law of Perspective – Not all complaining is meaningful.

Just because your child whines about practicing, doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t like piano or want to learn to play. It just means they’re human, like the rest of us. Sometimes I don’t feel like cooking, but I like to be creative in the kitchen. By redirecting my focus to what’s important to me – my family and the value of sitting down to a meal together – I gather energy to accomplish my goal and enjoy the reward. When your child complains about practicing, redirect their focus to their goals – why they wanted to learn to play the piano in the first place! Was it the pianist they listened to with delight at a concert? Or was it a friend or relative who plays piano well and inspired them to want to learn? This will help your child find motivation and redirect their energy to piano again.

The Law of Fun! – It’s fun to keep your sense of humor :-D!

The point of music is to lift the spirit. My students often want to be a little silly at their lessons and let some of their creativity out. I can’t even count the number of silly songs I’ve made up during lessons. Use piano as a way to connect with your child and have more fun together! Over the long run, adding creative fun into the mix of hard work, courage and persistence is the best way for students to achieve piano success.

There you have it, Piano Parents - The keys to the Piano Kingdom. Now go out and support your child in piano!

For great home piano activities parents can use to help children ages 5 to 11 develop their musical talent, visit Piano Adventure Bears Music Education Resources You’ll find a treasure box filled with piano resources to create an exciting musical adventure for your child - right in your own home! Visit their website and subscribe to their f’ree internet newsletter so you can download f’ree piano sheet music and mp3s of original piano compositions.

These exciting stories, games, piano lessons, and inspirational gifts feature the Piano Adventure Bears, Mrs. Treble Beary and her new piano student, Albeart Littlebud. Young students follow along with Albeart to learn what piano lessons are all about in a fun way that kids readily understand appreciate. Click here to visit PianoAdventureBears.com For a wealth of information about piano lessons, visit tallypiano.com


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