Guide Your Child to Independent Practice

By Broc Hite, Piano Instructor

The best progress comes from lessons when the child, teacher, and parent are well-synchronized. However, I often find that parents aren’t sure how to best help their child succeed.

In a post on my own Website, I discuss the topic at length. There are a couple of quick suggestions:

For younger students:

  • Check in regularly. Even if you don’t understand the assignment, ask your child to explain what she was assigned.
  • Use a timer to start and end the practice session. If your child is like most, he probably doesn’t have a good sense of what 20 or 30 minutes feels like. You can help him to establish a good practice routine.

For older students:

  • Engage, but tread lightly. Ask to hear them play. Ask if they are having fun, and if not, why not!
  • If a change is needed, whether it be different repertoire, playing by ear, improvising, or whatever, ask them to talk to their instructor. We have tricks up our sleeve, and not just because it’s almost Halloween!

Even though the parent role may be the least understood, it’s likely to be the most helpful. The teacher and child are looking for your guidance and support.

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