Frequently Asked Questions
Piano lessons require commitment and effective practice. A child with overly scheduled activities will have difficulty learning and finding time for piano practice.
It is important to understand that it is not the teacher’s fault if your child is not progressing. Parents need to honestly answer these questions to understand better the reasons of why their child is not progressing: Is your child practicing correctly and frequently?
Is learning piano is a priority or just another busy day?
Are accomplishments at the piano rewarded with praise as other school activities?
It’s not the amount of time you spend, but how well you use the time in practicing that counts.
If your child plays the piano for an hour, but simply repeats the same mistakes over and over, he/she is not practicing effectively. The right way to practice is to correct mistakes before proceeding on. It might take more then a few times to correct them, but it is a necessary step.
For example, if measures 4-6 are played with mistakes then these measures should be practiced until your child knows how to play them correctly. It might take 5 times to play it right and then proceed with the rest of the piece.
A student can not simply learn by only practicing before the lesson. Learning to play piano is a skill that constantly needs to be practiced, refined and developed. It is recommended to spend quality time at the piano. If a child just fiddles by the piano for half and hour, it is not considered as practice. However, if he/she pays attention to all the assignments and works on various difficulties in the music for 15 minutes then it is considered as quality practice.
Most importantly, parents should remind children to practice musically, meaning making music out of even the simplest exercise.
Here is a recommended practice time:
Age 3 -5: 10 minutes per day
Age 6 : 10-20 minutes per day
Age 8: 15-25 minutes per day
Age 10: 20-30 minutes per day
Age 12 30-45 minutes per day
Adults: 30- 60 minutes per day
Once the child starts private piano lessons a digital keyboard is fine at the beginning, but after a few month, piano is recommended and of great importance in order to master the correct technique and the artistry of playing.
For Group Piano lessons keyboards used, so children can enjoy playing music in a social setting with other children.
According to a clinical research young children who begin piano lessons early in life are happier, less likely to quit lessons as they grow up and enjoy piano much more thorough out later years.
Children can learn to play piano as early as 3 ½ and some experts even believe as young as 2 ½ . Most famous composers you hear about started playing instruments at a very young age and by age 5 were composing music.
Since music is a language, learning that language comes naturally for almost all preschool age children. Children acquire language from the time they are born and by age 5 they become proficient at that language. Therefore, waiting until a child is 5 to teach a musical language is unnecessary.
According to Shinichi Suzuki, children should be actively engaged with music from birth, and by the time they 2 ½ or 3 learning to play an instrument becomes as natural as speaking and learning their native language.
Other studies from the University of California suggest that taking piano, music lessons at age 3 can increase child’s brainpower In addition, piano is a good instrument to start since finger movements on the piano are easier than on the violin.
If you are not sure about their child’s readiness for piano lessons, then ask yourself these questions:
• Can your child sit through and focus during piano lesson for 15 min to 30 min?
• Does your child can count up to 5?
• Can your child understand and follow directions?
• Does your child shows interest and wants to play piano?
Most importantly your child’s first piano teacher needs to be carefully selected. She/he needs to have experience and knowledge teaching piano to preschool age children and to beginner students of any age.
Some parents expect immediate rescheduling of a piano lesson they paid for but could not attend. If a child misses a lesson a parent still needs to pay for that lesson.
Piano teacher’s time needs to be respected, just like time of any other professionals. One of the questions parents can ask themselves: would you expect your child’s school teacher to rearrange the children’s school day to fit in with other schedules. No!
The time schedules parents arrange with a piano teacher strictly designated for their child and that time slot is no use for any other students. When that time is not used the teacher loses money and time and the loss of money and time continues for the second time when the lesson returned.