When the parent is ready, lessons can begin, and the lessons will succeed…
Parents, this is for you. In order for your child have the greatest chance of success I need to share a secret with you.
If you understand what I am doing during each lesson, everything is going to work and we all have fun. If you are also excited about learning and practice the basics along with your child, it goes well and you and your child have an amazing experience.
Here’s the secret I promised: I need YOU.
During each lesson you learn along with your child. During the week between each lesson you practice the basics to stay a bit ahead of your child. If you understand what is going on, you can help your child with practice, and let your child help you practice too. I need your cooperation, commitment, and enthusiasm.
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Why does your child need so much help?
Learning to play the piano is hard, and learning to read music is complicated. It is not fair or logical to expect a small child to understand what is going on in beginning lessons if you do not understand everything clearly. And now with distance learning I need you to help with technology issues as they come up.
Can a different adult be helping in different lessons?
Unfortunately this generally does not work well. Consistency and commitment are key. If you come some weeks, and your spouse comes other weeks, neither one of you will have the benefit of what went on during the previous lesson
An occasional substitute is OK but learning will stop and become frustrating for your child if it happens too often. You will fall behind on what is being taught and your child’s lesson becomes less productive. The key is moving through the basics quickly so your child will be playing music sooner, which is the whole point of lessons.
Why are you so important in beginning lessons?
I present skills in each lesson, but there is not another lesson for the next seven days. So, for the other six days you are the assistant teacher, helping to nail down the things we do in lessons.
Why is this different from school?
In school the kids are in class every day. Each thing they learn is repeated and reinforced daily. Weekly lessons, in a specialized area such as piano, with individual instruction is a totally different thing.
Why can you help your child with school work without being in his or her class?
Many of the things taught in school you already know. You can help your child with basic math, or simple reading skills, or geography, or science, or history. You already have these basics. But unless you are a musician yourself, you know nothing about reading music, how to play the piano, how to practice and a whole bunch of sticky problems that we run into. That’s why you need to be present, be engaged and need to go over the basics yourself. Music is like nothing you have ever done in your life, and you can’t help your child learn unless you understand what I’m teaching
What happens when you are engaged?
The speed at which your child learns is very rapid when you are totally on board. There is an overwhelming feeling of success and there is an explosion of progress and growth. It’s 100% positive for everyone.
What’s the difference between success and failure?
If you are an engaged, cooperative parent following my direction and working with your child each day, I see astounding advancement in just a few weeks, and after a few months we are playing more advanced music. It’s just a good and rewarding experience for everyone.
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What’s the bottom line?
It is this: at the beginning it is the adult, not the child, who will determine success or failure. Later this will change. Because children learn quickly they tend to take off like a rocket once they get the basics, establish a routine and build up confidence. That’s the successful outcome. This is why your role in piano lessons is so incredibly important.