I have been teaching piano for over 20 years. In that time I have had students who really seem to love playing the piano, and they seem to enjoy their lessons, but never practice!!
And I mean NEVER.
How do I know they don’t practice? They tell me!! Although their honesty is quite refreshing, I would prefer to see them accelerate at their craft.
I tend to ask a lot of questions. (Learned that fine art from my mom). Why didn’t you practice? What would make it easier to practice? How do you think we could find the time to practice?
One student went so far as to say her keyboard was in her garage. I found that out during the Christmas season. I asked, “Do you mean you were storing it in the garage during the Christmas season to make room for your Christmas tree?
No, she said. That’s where the family kept her keyboard.
Oh, I responded with some hesitation.
I was later updated that the family would be clearing a space in her room. Awesome! So glad to hear.
So – enough with my stories.
Here are a few ideas I recommend to encourage students to sit at the piano for a few minutes every day include:
- Anchor piano practice around something you must do every day – for example – before you brush your teeth in the morning play piano for 5-10 minutes! (Don’t forget to brush your teeth afterwards).
- Before you leave for school in the morning, sit at the piano for several minutes and play through one exercise or one song at least 3 times!
- Just finished dinner? Sit down at your piano for 5-10 minutes and play through a few songs on your list or grab 5 flash cards and see how well you remember what you’ve been taught!
- Set your timer on your phone or Ipad (or whatever device is handy) and only practice for 10 minutes. NO LONGER! No matter what you are doing when the timer goes off, you MUST walk away. (I admit there is a bit of reverse psychology at work here).
Keep in mind – ALL of us piano teachers would prefer a student to sit down for at least a half hour to an hour daily and get those piano pieces mastered!!
However, these few suggestions are just a creative way to tie piano “sit downs” to something you already do on a daily basis so they become a habit!!
Do you have any tips to sit down to practice the piano? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
We would love to hear from you!!