Here are a few reasons why practicing is the most important task while taking piano lessons.
- You are investing money for your child’s piano education, so it’s important that you get a return on your investment –so to speak. The child will progress much more rapidly when they are reinforcing what they learned during their lesson.
- Practicing playing piano strengthens muscle memory and the ability to read ahead of their playing. Your fingers have muscles that need verification from your brain on which fingers to use individually for which keys. Once your fingers start learning a song, they get accustomed to playing individually and memorize where they’re supposed to go–hence muscle memory.
- Practicing music reading is important because it develops the brain. The brain is a muscle. It needs exercise. Understanding the note names is one way the mind grows in its ability. Teaching young children to read helps them develop their playing skills because using their muscle memory, they are able to read ahead and be prepared to play what’s coming next. It also helps them learn to listen to pitch and identify sounds.
- Reading music develops the creative side of people. Once children are given solid ground work with technique and ability, they are able to test the boundaries and create their own music compositions. They will be able to translate the sounds in their imagination onto paper in order to perform for people.
- Once a child learns a song well, the joy of playing piano is instilled in them and they are much more encouraged by their self progress to keep playing for themselves and others!
How to get your kids to practice:
- Write “Practice Piano” into your daily routine checklist.
- Build up practice time slowly into their schedule. Start with 10 minutes of practice every day for the first 5 weeks of piano lessons. Then move up to 15 minutes the next 5 weeks. Then 20…25…30…
- Build up reading slowly. Make it a goal to learn one new song on their assignment on a daily basis.
- Have students try the three time rule where they play each hand three times in a row without a mistake and then put the hands together. This practice is meant to improve discipline and accuracy.
- Slow playing down for more frequent progress. Make sure there is a steady beat involved.
These are just some practice tips. Practice is the tool that will best deliver the results most students seek and should be treated as such. Practice doesn’t make perfect—practice makes permanent. For that reason and many others, parents/guardians must continue to encourage their children to practice effectively and often in order to reach their music goals!