Sometimes it takes a lot of energy to get your child to sit at the piano and play, and even after they're sitting on the bench it can be difficult to have a productive and fun practice. If you've ever wondered if it was possible to have a happy practice session with your children, the answer is yes!
Roxanne McGahey is the Music for Young Children coordinator for Eastern USA who travelled from Canada last week to help us learn about helping our children during practice times. As a parent in MYC and also a teacher, I want to share some of the ideas Roxanne had for making practice habits happy. I was glad to be reminded of these things so that I can use them with my children.
The best way to motivate ourselves to be better in this area is to know the benefits of practicing an instrument in the first place. We know that discipline is learned, but practice is good for breaking things down, setting goals, developing independence, solving problems, and being prepared to perform several pieces for friends and family. In order for parents to help their child during practice time, we need to be able to "coach" them in these areas.
So what can we do to make practice happy?
My favorite point from Roxanne was about high achieving children. A high achieving child doesn't really need to work that hard in school and therefore might not develop techniques for studying properly and working hard at what they do, but music gives them an opportunity to learn a work ethic while practicing their instrument. This is true for all students. Music is a gift.
Lane is a long-time piano and MYC teacher at the TDS, and is also our official blogger! She is excited to share her experience about teaching music to children and helping parents learn techniques to assist their child in their learning.