Amongst juggling the many responsibilities as an adult/parent, the “to-do” list seems to get longer and longer for children nowadays! When it comes to practicing the piano, the task can actually become more daunting than it should. The last thing piano should become is an inconvenience, so here are a few tips on how to keep piano practice an integrated part of your daily...weekly routine... in a positive way!
1. Prepare a Meal: Practice the Piano…. No matter how busy life gets, there’s always time to eat at least one meal a day at home, right? Having your child practice the piano while you prepare a meal can help make meal prep run smoothly by giving your child something to do, while you cook.
2. Task-oriented practicing…. Just like many adults, some children are “check-list” kids. Give them a checklist, and their ability to focus fully on one task at a time becomes a breeze, plus… they forget about the time as they focus on the task. This "task-oriented" approach helps children focus on the actual assignment instead of the timer. Include a fun way for them to check each task off their list! (stickers, star-shaped hole punches, etc…).
3. Commercial Break Piano Dash…. If you child has a designated time set aside to watch his/her favorite television show, just remember… 15 minutes per hour of TV show-time is strictly commercials. Take that piano-to-do list, and hop to it during the commercial breaks! This can be especially beneficial for children who have shorter attention spans. It’s not my highest recommendation for practicing piano, but it’s a great way to get some good mind-exercising in the midst of screen time.
4. Piano Practice = Screen Time … This is a branch off from point #3.... some children do not even watch "television" per say anymore... it's all about the phones or iPads! It's nearly impossible to avoid the fact that these "screens" are (and will continue to be) an integrated part of our present and future culture. Practicing the piano can be one way that children can "earn" their screen time... i.e. 20 minutes piano practice = 20 minutes screen time. This also presents parents with a great opportunity to help children understand the importance of moderation and balance in all things in life.
5. One-on-One at the Piano! For those young beginner students, parental involvement during practice time is often times very necessary. This could be an excellent opportunity to create some fun 1-on-1 memories together. Often times the parent ends up learning music along with their child... what a special bond to share for a lifetime!
What methods for integrating consistent piano practicing work for you? Comment and share!