We continue this series on practicing with more really practical tips to help you support your child's practice at home. These are better done in a video format, so please watch the videos below and download the resources at the bottom of this post. Do let me know how you get on with implementing the strategies at home.
Download the practice strategy cards and messy cards below.
The last couple of posts have discussed the vital role parents play in supporting their child at home by negotiating a practice time and making sure it's stuck to. For the next few posts we turn to practical strategies to help once you're at the piano.
Make it a special time
In today's hectic world 1:1 time with your child is rare, so why not make practice time a special time when it's just the two of you and you can treasure the time spent together. Put the phone and other distractions away, make sure siblings are occupied elsewhere, shut the dog out and really be present with your child.
your presence is one of the best rewards you can give your child
The power of praise & constructive feedback
You already know this, but children crave parents' affirmation but it needs to be:
Say 'I can see how fast you are progressing using that strategy'
Say 'I loved the sound you created just there'....and so on.
Things to say!
The Curious Piano Teachers have created a set of practice cards for parents that are at the bottom of this blog post. They include:
I hope this has given you some ideas for practical ways to support your child. There will be more next time!
How do we solve the age old problem of practising between lessons? I'm sure many of you reading this will either have children who learn an instrument or remember your own instrumental lessons and one of the major problems is practice.
A while ago I wrote a blog post about the parent's role in the piano learning journey; a major part of which is helping with piano practice at home. Today's post is about a free online tool called Cadenza developed by Professor Rena Uptis of Queens University in Canada that teachers can use to help motivate students to practice at home.
Given that students see their teacher for only 30 minutes a week the progress they make is quite remarkable
Given that most students see their teacher for only 30 minutes a week the progress they make is quite remarkable. Compared to the hours children spend each day with their teachers at school, instrumental students, their parents and teachers do a job that is nothing short of amazing!
Cadenza is a free online tool that increases the support available for children outside of lessons. It allows:
perhaps most exciting of all, Cadenza allows the student to upload videos of progress during the week on which the teacher can provide feedback
Children will need access to a tablet during their piano practice time. They can work through the activities set by the teacher, monitor their progress during the week, see how much time they have spent working on activities and write notes for themselves or their teacher. The tool can help develop the skill of reflection as children can note what went well and what they need to focus on during the next practice session.
The creators of Cadenza report that students 'love' using it and that it's fun. Teachers and students report learning more quickly with Cadenza and experiencing more satisfaction as musicians. And why not, the goal is to make music and the sooner we can all do that the happier we will all be!
From January 2019 Surrey Music School will be using Cadenza with all students. If you have lessons with us please sign up and let us know when you've done so. We can then connect and the fun can begin!
So, you've signed your child up for piano lessons and just like every other extra curricular activity, you pay the bill, drop your child off on time and your job is done. Or is it?
Director of Surrey Music School.