Learning Piano:
How Parents Help Their Children Succeed

Learning piano is really worthwhile.  It is not the easiest thing in the world but it's rewards are tremendous!

Finding a good piano teacher is absolutely important.  Next to that, parents are the biggest influence on a child's musical journey.  For effective learning, full parental support is very essential.

It is really not enough just to provide a piano and pay the fees!

1. Interest

Parents must take an active interest in a child's musical journey. 

Make an effort to talk to your child about learning piano and music in general.  Let them know that you enjoy music too and give sufficient attention to music.  Reward your child for practising well, learning to read notes well or doing well at piano lesson. 

Try to keep updated about your child's progress and ask the piano teacher how your child is doing. 

Always keep a positive, encouraging attitude.  While learning piano can be frustrating at times, patience and a commitment to see your child succeed will always be rewarded.

2. Time

It is good practice for parents with early beginners  to sit in during piano lessons to take notes.  A parent can then point your child in the right direction during the week.  Those who don't know music need not worry.  It is easy to pick up bits of musical knowledge as you follow the lessons. 

Some teachers encourage this.  Others prefer to have parents sit in only on occasion to highlight points that need attention.  Either way, parents sit in usually as observers only and generally do not interact directly with the child or teacher during the piano lesson.  This is to encourage building an effective teacher-child relationship which would help the process of learning piano.

During the week, especially for the first year or so, sitting with the child to help in practice is very crucial for a young child to develop good playing habits.  Playing games to learn new notes and clap new rhythms is also an excellent way to support your child.

3. Scheduling

Practice Time

Work out a regular practice time for your child.  Choose a time during which there are few distractions.  For example, not during his favourite tv show.  A quieter time like the afternoon when most family members are out of the home would allow the child to concentrate better.

Give time at the piano good priority such that it is always completed except under special circumstances (which may occur once a week at most).

It is good to prepare your child by discussing that piano time is to be completed prior to play time so that he understands the commitment involved.  Of course, let him know that there are many rewards to doing well too.

Music Time

It's fun and rewarding to have other music activities other than piano lessons and piano practice.  These could include family piano performances, watching concerts together or performing in student concerts or music festivals.

4. Piano

Get a reasonably good piano for your child, either by renting or buying one.  Keep the piano heater on and have it tuned at least once a year.  Electronic keyboards and electric pianos are not recommended beyond half to one year.

With good support at home, patience and a little time, a child who is ready to learn the piano would be very likely to do it well!

Here's some help on choices you can make to help your child succeed in learning piano!