Learning how to play the piano, much less excelling at it, can be a demanding task at times. It requires a strong display of multiple qualities, such as endurance, hard labor, and most importantly, patience. If adults find learning the piano a challenging task, so do children. So how can you, as a parent, successfully motivate your child to practice piano on a regular basis?
Below, we will talk about some ways that you can ensure acts as a motivation to practice piano for your child. However, before we do that, we need to know why it’s important for your child to start playing the piano.
Understand the Benefits of Playing the Piano for your kid
Playing the piano on a regular basis can prove to be quite beneficial to you as an individual. That is especially the case if you begin learning it at an early age. Recent studies have shown that playing an instrument is somewhat like doing a full-body brain workout. Our ability to process auditory signals often degrades as we age. However, learning to play an instrument can prevent that from happening. Moreover, playing the piano frequently boosts our creativity and allows us to express ourselves more freely.
Many high-achievers link their creative thinking abilities to instrument playing. A study by Dr. Ana Pinho concluded that while playing the piano, the brain’s ability to create different, individualistic sounds improved to a large extent. This means that your child can learn to adapt to critical situations and improve cognitive abilities from an early age. They can do all this by simply playing the piano on a frequent basis.
These benefits far outweigh the significance of the time children spend playing video games or surfing the internet all day. As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure that children develop a lasting preoccupation with a worthwhile activity while they are still young. So, how to motivate a child to practice the piano?
Motivation Your Kid to Practice Piano
Find the Best Instructor
The first step may seem quite obvious initially. For your child to develop a long-lasting interest in piano learning, they need to be mentored by an adept piano instructor. It is imperative that you choose an instructor with who your child connects on more than just a surface level. This will gradually result in the development of a strong bond between the mentor and the mentee. Without that, the practice sessions would be of no avail to your child.
Do not hesitate to change instructors if you feel like there is something lacking in the relationship between your child and the instructor. Your child’s abilities are far more important to preserve. The teacher should be patient and calm with your child and should be able to encourage free-flowing creativity and imagination. Moreover, the right instructor would play games or assign tasks for your child during practice. The teacher should also be aware of any mental health conditions (such as ADHD). Moreover, they must be careful about excessively burdening your child with laborious assignments.
In many cases, it is the relationship between the instructor and the student that determines whether the child will continue to have an abiding interest in playing any instrument. If you are unable to find the right instructor, the onus is then on you to make piano lessons interesting for your child.
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Make It a Rewarding Activity for Your Child
Making piano lessons a compelling activity for your child to participate in can be done through various means. The first thing that you should do as a parent is to come up with a reward system, which is an old yet productive technique.
This is helpful primarily in cases in which the child does not find learning piano an enjoyable activity or shies away from it. Rewarding your child with small gifts can make them develop a keen interest in the following activities.
One way to track the reward system is by coming up with daily or weekly goals that the child must fulfill. This way, your child would automatically become more motivated to work hard. Furthermore, it is important that you express your interest in their progress as well to avoid disheartening them.
You can ask them to hold a pretend concert at the end of every week, which would be another fun activity a child would look forward to. Make sure that you applause loudly and shower them with compliments at the end as well! This way, you will ensure that your child continues to remain passionate about learning.
Mentor Your Child Yourself
Another way you can show your involvement as a parent is by being your child’s mentor yourself. You can do this by tracking their progress and assigning special tasks for them. If you don’t know the basics of playing the piano, don’t worry; you can seek help from sources on the internet too.
Apps such as Skoove and Flowkey are easily available online and will help strengthen the note-reading skills of the student. Apart from offering free lessons, they can also come in handy during practice sessions.
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If you still require more help, Hoffman Academy’s YouTube channel is by far the most comprehensive piano-learning channel, which offers videos from beginner to intermediate level. Moreover, seeking help from sources on the internet will ensure that you and your child know what to practice and how to practice as well. This has double benefits since you will derive useful knowledge on how to play the piano yourself and will not get derailed from the gradual progress of your child.
However, this does not mean that you should constantly monitor your child during practice sessions. You should allow your child to express themselves while on the piano. Children often tend to stray away from the actual mode of learning and become engrossed with other activities.
This is fine as long as your child’s weekly or daily task is fulfilled. Another thing that we do not recommend is the strict adherence to time. Using a timer can often be counterproductive. Your concern should only be the active engagement of your child to the subject.
Know What Your Child Really Wants
It is important to mention that you must be aware of whether your child is actually interested in playing the piano or whether they dislike playing it. If the latter is the case, and you have tried to the best of your abilities to make them develop the habit of playing the piano, then it is time you put this idea to bed, at least for a while.
If possible, try picking up a different instrument for them to learn instead. Cramming your child with needless lessons and practices when they are clearly not interested would not be the smartest thing to do. It is your responsibility to look over the needs of your child. You do not want them to develop a hostile attitude towards instrument playing.
All in all, it is safe to say that learning how to play the piano can prove to be extremely useful and beneficial for your child. That is especially the case as they continue to transform through their adolescence. Due to the health benefits, playing the piano regularly is more than just a casual activity. It is the gateway to a healthy and active lifestyle.
Be patient in seeing improvements. This is a laborious task that can at times demand a lot of time investment. You will definitely see positive results as your child continues to practices regularly and adheres to the routine mentioned above. The changes will be not only in their piano-playing abilities but in their character and personality as well. Remember, however, that in the end, patience is the key!