1) Teach an Old Dog New Tricks -
One of the most powerful learning tools is teaching someone else. Ask your child to teach you, and make a point of truly taking an interest. Be an attentive student. Enjoy being in the position where they (for once!) know more than you do about something. Ask pertinent questions, and watch them delight in sharing their knowledge with you. It’s okay if you don’t learn much… it’s about the process not the product. Make this a regular event – choose a day of the week where it is your regular piano lesson time with your child. They’ll love it!
2) Gather around the piano –
Bring back the days when there was no TV, iPods or Playstations and instead gather around the piano for your entertainment. Ask your child’s teacher to give them some music to learn that you and your family can sing along to. Rock out to the Beatles, Herman’s Hermits, Cindy Lauper… anything that you all know the words to. Christmas time is an especially wonderful time to do this. Sing carols while your child plays… this is the definition of family togetherness!
3) Include Younger Siblings -
Young children are naturally drawn to the piano. Encourage “piano playtime.” Prepare to get out your ear plugs… but resist the urge to shut down the piano play session. Experimenting with sound on the piano is a great way to nurture creativity and musical exploration. Sit younger siblings beside your child on the bench (after normal practice has taken place) and watch your children’s imagination take off.
4) Plan Mini Recitals -
Plan weekly family recitals on a certain day every week. Help your child create a program with the pieces they are currently working on and/or reviewing. Bake treats for the reception afterwards. Dress up. Be an attentive audience with enthusiastic applause and plenty of hootin’ and hollerin’. Invite Grandma and Grandpa, Aunties, Uncles and Cousins. Make it a special occasion and your child will look forward to preparing for it… can anyone say increased practice minutes?!
5) Download this free activity –
Check out “Calling Aunt Gladys” taken from our book “Shhh…Your Piano Teacher Thinks This is Practice.” Several of the 88 fabulously fun activities are geared towards including family in piano practice. Join us in thinking outside the box, and use this unique e-book resource to boost the motivation factor for at-home practice in a way that encourages good practice habits.
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