Tuesday, 27 January 2015
We have been running our studio for over 26 Years! Ottawa Pianos has had many awesome teachers with incredibly creative ideas on how to make practice more interesting. Practice is not fun but of course necessary.
1. Practice time can be isolating especially for a young music student. A young music student needs company. Sometimes just having a parent in the same room can make all the difference. Perhaps while the student is practicing you can look up from your book or iPad or from folding the laundry and comment on how much better it sounds. Be genuine! Praise hand position or the tempo.
2. For some young students, it is the repetition of the piece that causes the lack of motivation. So try the RAINBOW approach! Draw an arch over the title; now every time the piece is played draw another arch in a different colour. Having a student play it carefully 5 times in one practice session is awesome! Or try the AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION approach! The student plays it for a different person, each person signs his piece.
3. Sometimes it can be overwhelming for a student when a piece is introduced. Try the ONE GOAL method! The goal for the Monday practice is to play only the right hand from beginning to end without mistakes (Tuesday's practice will be left hand). Or perhaps only the most difficult part. I have always found a one goal to achieve practice helpful. Another advantage to this approach is that it is not a timed practice but one of achieving a goal. Some students work better this way.
4. This last one always worked for me when I was growing up. My mother would give me the choice: help with the chores after dinner or practice the piano. Well that was a no brainer! I did not wash dishes for months!
I cannot emphasize enough that the most important thing is being consistent. Regular consistent practice is the key, and remember it's not the quantity but the quality of the practice.
Learning to play the piano is not easy or fun all the time. Some times it will go well and some practices will be trying. But it is well worth it!
If you have ideas that worked for your children send them to me. I would love to hear from you!