Learning how to practice piano and developing good practice habits are the two main keys for piano students to succeed in piano study. It is a teacher's role to show students how to practice and what to practice between the lessons. Developing good practice habits is the parent's responsibility to help the student at home. Learning effective practice skills is a difficult task, especially for young students who haven't yet learned to identify mistakes; therefore, parental involvement takes an important role for the student 10 years and younger, especially in the first few years of study. Excellent practice skills take years to develop and must be trained. First of all, it is important for the parent and the student to have a clear understanding of what practice means.
Practice means "REPEATING SECTIONS CORRECTLY." It does not mean doing the same thing over and over again. Mindless repetition can be harmful and develop bad habits if the student simply repeats mistakes. Bad practice habits leading to frustration and, often, quitting piano. In contrast, good practice habits actually make learning piano much easier, much less frustrating, and much more fun. Here are some helpful tips for the parents how to help their child's practice at home between the lessons.
1. Provide a well-tuned acoustic piano. It is vital for the student to practice on a well-tuned acoustic piano, which helps the students to develop a good piano technique, a good ear, and a emotional expression. The instrument should be tuned twice a year, once in the summer (June) and once in the winter (December) are appropriate to keep the piano in tune.
2. Provide a metronome, a practice box with three objects, and a music dictionary.
3. Provide an environment with free of distraction and enough lighting.
4. Set the same time of day for practice and practice daily at the same time.
5. On the same day of lesson, have a brief practice session to go over the assignments and help the child to set practice goals for the week.
6. Supervise the child to follow through the daily practice goals.
7. Advise the child to practice a section at a time and practice each section slowly and correctly. Do not let child to move on to the next section before the previous section practiced with no mistake 3 times in a row. You may utilize fun games with the child to make daily practice section fun.
8. Have a daily mini recital for the family and provide performance opportunities as many as possible.
9. Give lots of encouragements and compliments.
10. Communicate with the teacher when the child has any practice issues.