This is a very short article I wrote for the Armstrong Community Music School website. Parents of music students can look at my suggestions from several different angles. Many of my friends know what angle I would be interested in!!!
How can I help my child to maximize the benefits of music lessons?
In my many years of teaching, I have come to recognize several important facts. Probably the most significant one is that children whose parents take an active role in their practice sessions at home come to their lessons better prepared and more eager to learn than those children whose parents don’t offer some at-home supervision.
Typically, when a student is well-prepared for his/her lesson, they are excited about coming to their piano lesson and eager to share with me what musical accomplishment they have made in the past week. (Some even work ahead of the material I have assigned.) These students have parents who sit with them regularly to review lesson materials, ask and answer questions, and make sure that written assignments are completed. I think this kind of gentle assistance develops confidence and a feeling of well-being in a young child. Music lessons should be viewed as fun, not as a chore. Even when a parent doesn’t have any formal musical training, they can inquire about their child’s lesson, review the given assignments and encourage their child to practice every day.
For me, parent participation in daily practicing is a win-win. The child will certainly notice improvement, I can spend lesson time on new material instead of reviewing old information and as a bonus, the parent can know that he or she is getting his or her money’s worth!