How To Help My Child Practice The Piano Consistently
Lay the foundation of time-management skills for your children with these 3 tips to help your child practice the piano consistently.
As a parent, you must be wondering… How can I help my child practice the piano consistently?
Aside from ensuring your child attends their weekly lessons with all the necessary materials, the best thing you can do to support their musical development is to help your child practice the piano consistently - a habit well worth the effort.
Not sure how to do that in the middle of all the other things you balance? That’s okay! That’s why I’ve written this blog post to support YOU, the parent.
Don’t worry! You are not alone in this endeavor! I get it! As a busy mother of six, I’ve been there! With all the school forms, doctor’s appointments, grocery lists, and Ubering our children around, keeping track of our children’s practice time can feel daunting.
Habit formation is challenging, for us, as parents, and for our children. For this reason, during piano lessons, I spend a lot of energy exploring the idea of habit formation with each student in the following areas:
Developing a consistent practice routine.
Establishing effective at-home practice techniques.
Encouraging proper piano technique.
As always, it’s about so much more than just excelling at the piano. These essentials for the musician are life skills that your child can apply to all areas of life and carry into their future.
In this post, I’ll be sharing my top 3 tips for establishing the habit of practicing the piano.
Shall we dive in?
Try these tips to help your child practice the piano consistently.
Habit stacking is a wonderful tool in habit formation. The idea is to pair the new desired activity with an already present daily activity. It plays on the idea of the Law of Inertia, that once someone is up and moving and getting things done, you can easily tack another task to that momentum.
Try pairing practicing piano with the after-school snack or daily homework. When your child comes home, offer them a snack, connect with them, and then send them off to practice piano before they dive into free play or homework.
The post-dinner routine is another great time to slip in some piano practice. After the post-dinner chores have been completed, encourage your child to practice for a few minutes before their evening bath or bedtime routine.
Bonus Tip: Practicing in the early evening can be a soothing way to end the day.
Some children find motivation with incentives. These incentives can be tailored to fit your family!
Try setting a practice goal for your student - number of days and minutes. Allow your child to earn a special reward if those goals are met.
The reward can be simple- an extra story at bedtime, an allowance bonus, a free house chore pass, a family game night, an at-home piano recital for Mom or Dad, or even allowing them to teach you a piano lesson!
Bonus Tip: The Practice Space App used in my studio incentivizes students by tracking their practicing times and rewarding them with gems and points they can use to “purchase” avatars and backgrounds.
(PS. If competition motivates your child, there’s even a leaderboard they can try to climb!)
3. Scheduling it.
Similar to habit stacking, scheduling practice works for those families who have even less flexibility in their schedules. Allocating a dedicated time to practice every day ensures the piano practicing gets done (e.g. 3:00 PM). Set a timer on your phone or your Alexa, reminding them they have an appointment with the piano.
Bonus Tip: Learning to practice at a scheduled time lays the foundation good time-management skills.
If this still feels daunting, remember the benefits of learning how to help your child practice the piano consistently. Keeping in mind the big-picture goals will motivate you to continue to find creative ways to help your child develop a consistent piano practice routine.
The benefits of having a consistent piano practice routine are numerous, including:
1. Divert time away from the screens.
2. Engage your child’s mind in unique ways.
3. Develop the habit of habit formation, which we need in all of life!
4. Build perseverance as they work at something challenging and takes effort.
5. Create a life-long hobby that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives-- well into adulthood.
As you can see, the benefits of helping your child practice the piano consistently are far-reaching, impacting many areas of their life - both now and in the future!
Food for Thought:
Think about your child. How do they work best? Are they self-motivated or do they need reminders and encouragement to practice the piano? What tools have been effective in the past for other daily activities such as daily hygiene, chores, or homework? Would similar methods be effective in the piano practicing arena?
I encourage you to have a conversation with your child. Establish establishing piano practice time. Ask them what would motivate, inspire, and encourage them to do the hard work of practicing the piano. They might have some great ideas we haven’t thought about!
For other tips, check out this blog post 6 Ways Parents Can Help Their Child Practice Piano.
After reading this blog post, if you have any specific questions or concerns, let’s discuss them! I’d be happy to brainstorm with you about finding solutions that work for your child and family!
If you think your child would benefit from the practice of habit formation in the context of piano lessons, I would be honored to help in the journey.
It is my true delight to bring the joy of music into hearts and homes through personalized remote piano lessons that will help students form habits and a hobby that will last them a lifetime!
The process is simple:
1. Schedule a call to talk about your goals.
2. Select a lesson time.
3. Take your first lesson!