Homeschool Piano Hacks Part 1 - BACK TO SCHOOL

Kids are going back to school, but many activities have been cancelled. So now that kids are at home, parents are scrambling trying to find extracurriculars to enrich their kids' lives in this new normal. Many people are turning to piano lessons.

As a piano teacher, I hear it a lot, What’s the best age to start piano lessons for my child?

Well, it depends...

Is it important to you that piano is something they love or is just another activity to fill their day?

Let me tell you a story. I have a student who started at six years old. Each time when she would get a new song she would give me the biggest hug saying how much she loved it and couldn’t wait to learn it.

She’s much older now, and because she started young, piano was never boring to her. She never hated lessons like we so often hear stories of kids sharing.

The key is to start them early, which will help them love it!

You don’t have to wait till you have time or can afford a private teacher. Any parent, even parents who have zero experience on the piano, can teach the beginning levels of classical piano.

Which brings me to my first piano hack as we start back the school year:

HACK #1: YOU DON’T NEED A TEACHER

Let me qualify that bold statement a little bit. Everyone needs a teacher. There are very few things we can 100% teach ourselves well. We need guides.

So what did I mean you don’t need a teacher?

I mean you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars a year on a private instructor. There is no reason that you the parent can’t be the teacher your child needs.

Even if you don’t play or only play a little. All you need is a guide to show you how it’s done (shameless plug).

So the hack is, don’t wait till you can afford or have time for private lessons. Get them started now when they are young and it will have the greatest impact on them!

HACK #2: USE A PRACTICE LOG

Giving your child clear guidelines of what they need to practice and helping make sure they achieve that weekly goal will help them go farther faster.

If your child has a private teacher or you the parent are their teacher, you need to be having a practice log to use with your child.

You might ask, “Isn’t it the teachers job to track a students practice?”

The parent is the greatest motivator any kid could have. If the parent is the one tracking their practice the student will have more motivation than any piano teacher can provide.

Download this FREE practice log worksheet I use with my kids.

Print out this sheet each week. Fill in the column to the left with the items that need to be accomplished on the piano. Have your child put a check next to each item when it’s done for the day.

Heck, you can use this same practice log worksheet for chores, behavior charts, school work or whatever your child needs guidance with in being diligent with their day.

None of us are born diligent. We need our parents help to mold that character trait in us. Help your child foster that gift by having them track their commitments and be diligent to follow through on them.

HACK #3: CREATE A REWARD SYSTEM

As a teacher I don’t offer my students rewards for good practice.  I know that whatever reward I could offer them would not be truly motivating for excellent habits.

I could create a treasure box with prizes from the dollar store that they could earn once every 1-2 months. Let’s face it that’s not going to cut it with most kids today. 

As a teacher I know the best motivator a kid can have is their parent. You know what speaks the language of your child.

For my kids it’s media. I know they want extra time on the xbox or iPad. In our house they earn it from their practice log. If they have all their check marks for the week  they earn an hour of media. If they have all their check marks and they had an excellent lesson they earn 2 hours of media.

This is what works with my kids. Maybe with yours it’s getting an ice cream out or a family game night.

Find what reward works for your child and have them show your their practice log each week. If they have all their check marks they’ve earned a reward. This is the best hack I can give you to help your child become diligent in the piano as the school year starts back.

Learning piano can be fun!

What is something you want your child to love for the rest of their life and not just when they’re a kid?

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(You can do teach your child Piano, even if you don't know how to play the piano!)

 

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