Here is a checklist of the task to do if you decide to buy, learn and decide before you send your child to learn their piano lessons.
By following through the checklist you will be able to speed up your child’s learning curve in studying music by months or maybe more. By taking steps in the checklist you will be able to equip not only your child but yourself in this musical journey. You are a knowledgeable and superbly equipped parent to play a role in nurturing the growth of new talent.
- Buying the first piano. You may think it’s a no-brainer to buy a piano now. But let me assure you it’s the correct first step. By having a piano in your house and within reach your child will be able to practice anytime. Piano practice is an essential part of a piano learning journey.Your child no matter how talented will not be able to progress without practice between lessons. Don’t think of sending your child for piano lessons if you are not committed to investing in a piano.
It would make good sense if you invest in a quality piano but you may consider getting a digital piano if you have issues related to living in a very small house or apartment. The acoustic piano will allow your child to develop his touch which a digital piano cannot provide.Your child will progress faster and learn piano more in-depth with the superb touch of the acoustic piano.
But digital piano has its advantages like recording a piece of music as played. Your child can listen and learn about the mistakes made. When it gets boring your child can, with a touch of a button change the sound of the piano to some other instruments. You may wish to invest in an advanced digital piano that comes with weighted keys, touch sensitivity, sustain pedal and a sound that closely resemble the acoustic piano. ( Need help to buy a digital piano? If yes, we recommend you to read this Digital Pianos Buying Guide.
- Placing the piano in the part of the house that isn’t where the TV is and not in the lonely part of the house. These two are the reasons why your child does not have enough practice. By having the piano is the most isolated and glummest room will make your child feel as they are being banished to the music room. Piano practice means punishment so it’s a no go. And having the piano in the TV room means lots of distractions and fighting for the right to use the room. This will lead to much conflicts for the use of the space.
- An acoustic piano needs to be kept in tune! You may find it a hassle to get the piano tuned but it cannot be avoided. An acoustic piano needs to be tuned at least twice a year depending on the usage. An out of tune piano will be a damper to your child piano learning and pain to your ear. Your child will not enjoy playing on an out of tune piano and so do you. So do not skimp on keeping your piano in tune.
- Have a piano placed in your house way before your child starts his first piano lesson. Let the piano be part of his early years and playing the piano will become second nature to him. Allow the child to explore the piano and just banging out a tune so as not to alienate the child from the piano and let him feel the piano is part of normal life.
- Let your child play around with the piano before beginning lessons. Your child will not damage the piano by playing it, let him be familiar with the layout of the keys and the sound that each key makes. The keys to the right will sound higher than the keys to the left. This will greatly help when the child starts his first lesson as he will not feel intimidated but will be familiar with the keyboard layout and the sound is produced. By having this confidence your child will advance faster in his music journey.
- Buy a piano stool or piano bench that is adjustable in height. By having the correct height is very important for the piano player to stay comfortable and effortless when playing the piano. Having to sit at the wrong height can stop a pianist from playing beautifully as he is uncomfortable. Do not make do by placing cushions as a more permanent solution is the better way. Find the best height that your child should feel comfortable with. Make sure you check the height from time to time as your child will outgrow the height.
- Don’t rush your child to learn the piano. Having a piano in the house early will let your child discover piano music at their own pace. Talk to them about piano music and play some songs to them if you are able to play them yourself. Does your child play the same tune every time they get a chance to be at a piano or do they vary their tunes? Do they try to imitate the others and so on. Do they explore the whole keyboard or they just stick to a certain section?
Take note of your child’s experimentation on the piano which is an essential foundation and you must encourage him to talk about what they are doing. This is an essential part of validating and consolidating to build up their confidence in discovering music.
At this point it is not important to discuss it in musical terms, just talk about the kinds of feeling the sound brings to them, ask your child what does he feel when he listens to a particular piece of music. Let them explore and do not try to discourage them in any way. You should be talking about emotions, attitudes and the texture of the musical piece. Your child will have an enormous advantage when they start communicating with others about their playing as they are able to express their feelings and emotions.
- Aware of the difference between the right side and the left side of their body. They must learn from the start and the awareness of the left and right hands. Have activities that cause this awareness like jumping to the left or right on cue. They must be aware of the action on one side of their body and able to differentiate it from the other side of the body. All these activities will lay the foundation for physical articulation at the keyboard.
- Know their alphabet before the music lesson. Your child knows the alphabet from A to G and maybe back again. Your child should know the musical alphabet goes from ABCDEFGABCDEFG etc. By knowing this we already save half of the first lesson. And if he could understand it backward your child already save 2 whole lessons in his first year of music lessons.
- Teach your child the meaning of treble and bass clef. Let him know the treble is for high notes and the bass is for low notes. The child should have an idea of how treble and bass clef looks like. You can google it if you are not sure yourself how it looks like. Your child may be already familiar with treble clef but does not know what it means. By being able to recognize these two important symbols will save you at least another half a lesson for at least three times in the course of 12-18 months of lessons which means saving up to 1 and a half lessons.
By following the 10 tips outlined above you not only save months of lessons but also see tremendous advancement in your child’s musical journey. Give your child an unfair advantage over other students.