What Should Piano Practice Include?

In the past, I’ve written about how piano practice shouldn’t be structured by requiring a specific length of practice time. A student who is required to practice for 30 minutes a day, for example, won’t necessarily make steady progress in his piano abilities.

So how, then, should a piano practice be structured? How can you ensure that piano practice will mark forward progress? Continue reading “What Should Piano Practice Include?”

Preparing for A Piano Recital

Your student is preparing for a piano recital. You’re probably thinking, “Well, she’ll have to practice a lot!”

That’s sort of true. However, getting ready for a piano recital involves a bit more of a strategy than just additional practice. Continue reading “Preparing for A Piano Recital”

Pacing Piano Lessons: Is My Student Ready for the Next Lesson?

One thing that is unique to online piano lessons is that while I teach all the concepts, music and theory in the program, I do rely on parents to help in pacing the program for the student. I have parent guides and checklists to help with this, but I want parents to feel completely comfortable when it comes to answering the question, “Is my child ready for the next piano lesson?” Continue reading “Pacing Piano Lessons: Is My Student Ready for the Next Lesson?”

Reducing Performance Anxiety

As a piano teacher, I make sure my students have many opportunities to share their musical gifts through piano recitals, playing for church or school talent shows. Even with my online students, I provide an online recital hall and suggestions for holding recitals at home. But what if your student suffers from performance anxiety? Continue reading “Reducing Performance Anxiety”

Let’s Talk About Piano Technique.

Technique is not a very exciting word. I am envisioning your eyes glazing over at the computer screen as you read the words “piano technique”.

Believe me, if I could come up with a sexier word to introduce this topic, I would!

Even though it sounds rather boring, piano technique is super duper important. And there is SO MUCH to it. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Piano Technique.”

Piano Practice Tricks That Will Change Your Life

I sometimes feel as though I can’t come up with another way to motivate my strong-willed child to practice. I’ve tried all the piano practice tricks. I’m out of creativity.

Or maybe you have a wiggly worm who can’t sit still longer than a few minutes and you aren’t sure how to get anything accomplished.

Or maybe you have a perfectionist who becomes immediately frustrated when she makes her first mistake during piano practice. Continue reading “Piano Practice Tricks That Will Change Your Life”

Summertime Piano Practice: Tips and Ideas

If your family is anything like my family, your summer schedule probably looks a little bit different than your schedule during the school year (maybe even a LOT different). Our days tend to not have quite as much structure and more free time, but we also have some pretty big interruptions to the new “normal” with family vacations or even hosting friends and family as they come to visit. Does this mean summertime piano practice is nonexistent in your house?
Continue reading “Summertime Piano Practice: Tips and Ideas”

Transitioning to Independent Practice

In my  March livecast, I talked about modeling an effective practice (which includes identifying and fixing mistakes) so that your student can not only make practice but also learn to one day practice independently.

As a student becomes a little older and more able to do things independently — read, play games, do a puzzle, complete a task — your child will be ready for you to back off a bit and give her some space while practicing. Your role will become that of a “guide” rather than a “fixer”.

The process of learning new music with a student who is in this developmental stage and beginning to make the transition to independent practice can be broken down to 3 phases. Watch my April livecast below for all the details. Continue reading “Transitioning to Independent Practice”

Fixing Mistakes At Piano Practice

One of the reasons piano lessons are such a big commitment is because in order for the experience to be successful, a parent must be involved in the process — especially if a younger student is the one learning to play — in order to help with fixing mistakes at piano practice.

My goal as a teacher is to help my students eventually get to a point where they are able to practice independently. This means they won’t require constant oversight from a parent during every single moment and will even be capable of fixing mistakes at piano practice on their own.

In order for a student to reach that point, the student MUST KNOW how to practice effectively. Which is why it is critical for parents and teachers to model what effective practice looks like. Continue reading “Fixing Mistakes At Piano Practice”

Motivate Your Child to Practice Piano: A How-To

Most of the questions I receive from parents of piano students through the years have been surrounding the topic of practicing piano – specifically how to motivate your child to practice piano.

Practicing piano is a HUGE topic, and there are so many important facets to consider. But let’s focus for now on how to motivate your child to practice piano. Continue reading “Motivate Your Child to Practice Piano: A How-To”