Although these 4 piano lessons tips were proposed for piano students, it will help you have a successful, rewarding experience learning any musical instrument. These top tips have been culled out of 25 years of private piano teaching and music classroom instruction.
PIANO TIP: WHEN TO START PIANO
It goes without saying that adults can begin piano study at any time in their lives. However, if you are looking for piano tips on when to start piano you can get some suggestions on this page. Your amount of success will be measured on how dedicated you are to some kind of regular practice. For more Piano Practice Tips for Adults read this post.
However, for children the age they begin is crucial. The common wisdom is that they should begin at age 4 or 5, earlier being better. The real truth is that it depends entirely on the parental commitment to spend time with the child. The danger is that a child will be put into piano lessons too early and the expectation of practice will overwhelm them and they will want to stop.
Piano/Keyboard for Suzuki piano method is a different matter than traditional piano lessons. I recommend 3 years old is the youngest age to start children in Suzuki private piano lessons. I generally enroll children in traditional private piano lessons at age 6 or 7 because they tend to have longer attention spans, more well developed muscles in the hands and arms, and can retain information more readily.
Also, a child who has been in a structured classroom environment at school for at least one year is much better equipped to follow directions, think in a sequential pattern and apply him/herself to a task.
WAYS TO BEST LEARN PIANO
In my opinion group piano classes work best for preschool students to best learn piano studying basic music theory, simple right hand piano pieces and development of the concept of a steady beat while playing with a group. After one or two years at the most in group piano lessons, then it is best to progress to a private piano instruction format to provide more attention to the students learning style.
PIANO TRAINING FROM A PROFESSIONAL
Finding the right piano training from a professional is not the only important factor in beginning piano study. It should also be combined with either a home or music school environment so that the student is surrounded by others involved in the same activity of learning music. That one half hour or 45 minute piano lesson once a week should be laser focused for learning with no distractions of any kind.
PIANO PRACTICE MADE EASY
You have heard the old saying, “Practice makes Perfect” and piano practice made easy is possible. This will always be true. However, there are 3 very important steps you should take as a parent to provide the optimal practicing environment for long term success.
a. SCHEDULE – Take a few moments with your student or yourself to write down a piano practice schedule This is an especially great idea for kids. Shoot for early rather than later practice to capture more rested and mental clarity. Also, allowing privileges after practice develops a strong practice habit and discipline which will spill over into other academic disciplines as well.
b. BREAK THE MOLD WITH SIMPLE REPETITION – Instead of focusing on overall piano practice time use the repetition model instead. For example, ask the student to practice his finger pattern 5 times a day, his counting 3 times a day, etc. This works very well and is not perceived as such an eternity for the student watching the clock to get in the required 20 to 30 minutes per day.
c. POSITIVE FEEDBACK – Adult beginner piano students should reward themselves with a cup of tea or some other enjoyment after a successful piano practice session. Children can never fail with a simple pat on the back, a little praise or understanding when life simply does not allow them to practice. Work with your teacher to make sure there is no guilt bagging on this issue since that is counter productive. This is a long term project and there will be ups and down. However, the overall chart shows upward progress!
Perhaps the most important tip is:
BE SURE TO HAVE FUN IN THE PROCESS! Piano study is a journey much like progressing through different grades at school. Only so much can be learned each year. Try not to have the fast food mentality here and remember that a simple tune played well can give any piano student a great deal of emotional and academic satisfaction. Enjoy!
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