Every parent with a child learning a musical instrument looks for ways to make their child practice more diligently, and enjoy themselves while they’re doing it. This struggle to balance dedicated and effective practice with fun can be a source of issues for many families in this situation. It can become difficult for parents to enforce an appropriate level of discipline, without tainting the enjoyment of the process for their child.
Every professional pianist successfully combines enjoyment with discipline; spending countless hours on their piano bench practicing luscious phrases of Chopin over and over again, and enjoying them more every time. However, for many, this was not alway the case. For budding professionals, like most novices beginning their musical journeys, practicing hard and enjoying the process is often as difficult as a journey to the moon and back.
There a multitude of ways to ensure your child is truly enjoying the music and improving their skill simultaneously. The key is helping them to understand the story and life at the heart of every composition. It is when they begin to see the soul of the music, that the music will begin to reside in the soul of the child.
To do this, you don’t have to be a flawless pianist yourself. Nor do you need a qualification in teaching. You do not need to be raising a child genius. And you certainly do not need panic. There is a solution to your problem. When your child is starting piano lessons, follow these simple and fun steps to enrich your families life, and ensure that your child gains a deep and sophisticated understanding of the heart of the music.
Understanding and enjoyment of the music and its form will encourage your child to want to practice more and will make them enjoy doing it.
1) Attend Classical Concerts
Listening to an entire live orchestra will train your child’s ear to discern the different layers of sound, and impart the importance of truly listening. Feeling the music vibrating through their body will allow your child to feel like they are part of the composition. The excitement and grandeur of the event will give your child something to aspire and look forward to. And discussing the repertoire that you have just heard with will help them develop a sophisticated understanding of the music, as well as a love for it.
2) Singing Along with Classical Music in the Car.
Do not forget that we all carry the most precious instrument in the world around with us all day long. The human voice. Singing along to the music can really allow a child to feel the emotion of the piece. They will no longer be an abstract combination of enjoyable sounds. They will now be something that came from within them, something they can relate to. Car journeys won’t be boring anymore and your child will not only be entertained, but they will be learning their craft at the same time, by training their ear to be more musical.
3) Drawing and Painting Along to Classical Music.
Having your child express the music that they are listening to in color and shapes is another useful way to give your child a greater understanding of the piece, and to teach them to listen deeper. They will listen keenly for the individual layers of sound, and will be aware of dynamic changes when transferring them onto the canvas. This not only helps the child to enjoy the music, but aids them in understanding how music and art relate to the world around them.
4) Make the Process Fun and Easy.
Combine the stereotypically “serious” learning process with fun and games. Children’s attention spans are quite short and therefore, both teachers and parents must constantly evolve the methods that they are applying. Creating new and fun approaches to learning the same material, allows the child to understand the music from multiple perspectives, and teaches them that piano lessons are fun, breaking the negative stereotype around learning.
5) Let them be the teacher.
Ask your child as many questions as you can about the pieces of music that they play, and pretend you don’t know the answers or understand simple things. Having your child teach you will make them feel more important and clever, and they will want to replicate this feeling by learning more. This will encourage your child to associate learning and acquiring new knowledge with enjoyment and fun.
Using these easy steps will teach your child that learning the piano is an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding experience. In doing so, they will gain a greater understanding of how the arts, and other people, interact with each other in the real world. Making the learning process fun will not only improve your child’s success and skill with the instrument, but will teach them lessons that will help them for the rest of their lives.