I am looking forward to teach your child how to play the piano/violin/viola. It is an absolute privilege for me to be able to pass on something that I absolutely love. I hope I can instill some of that joy of making music within your child. I encourage you to take an active role as your child is learning to play the piano/violin/viola. I always welcome open communication with the parents. Please do not hesitate to call or email me during the week with questions or concerns. I also encourage parents to “sit in” during the lesson.
Below, you find a suggestive reading list. I have started to list some of the books and materials, that I have come across and I have found particularly helpful. This is by no means a conclusive list:
The local children's library or learning center is also a great resource for books about composers, e.g. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Gershwin, Vivaldi, Handel, etc. Here are a few websites/links/articles about lessons in general and why music education is so important:
- Piano Lessons are Good for your Brain
- Benefits of Music
- Do's and Dont's
- Guide to Piano Lessons
- Broader Minded: A look at the importance of music education by NAfME (National Association for Music Education)
- New Ways Into the Brain's 'Music Room'
- Is Music the Key to Success?
- Scientists find 15 Amazing Benefits of Listening to Music
Practice only on the days you eat!
There is a direct relationship between regular practice and student success. Parents want to help their child establish a regular practice routine - free from distraction, assist with practicing and offer positive reinforcement, especially at the beginning levels. If it is not possible to help directly, just being in the room while the child practices is supportive and encouraging. All parents are more than welcome to sit in/video tape during lessons.
The entire family can play a very active role in helping make lessons and practice time effective:
- Immediately after the lesson, ask your child to tell you what s/he learned that day, to show you the new assignment, perhaps to play one of the new pieces for you and especially to tell you what the teacher had to say about the lesson.
- At the first practice period following the lesson (ideally the very day of the lesson), spend a few minutes reviewing the new assignment with your child and practice the new pieces briefly. Even if you do not play the piano, encourage your child through the instructions on the assignment sheet.
- Throughout the week, stay involved by asking your child to play the piece for you. We are our child's best cheerleader!
In the beginning, setting timely goals will get you off to a good start. Ultimately, quality rather than quantity (e.g. practice until I feel confident, until the piece is easy) will determine practice times. It is best to practice multiple times and in short sessions throughout your day! Here are some recommendations:
- Pre-K and K students: at least 10-15 minutes per day
- First-year students: at least 20-30 minutes per day.
- Second and third-year students: at least 30-45 minutes per day.
- Fourth-year + students: at least 45-60 minutes per day.
Students should practice at least four to five days per week. This way, students will have a better chance for successful and positive learning experiences.
The most important day to practice is the day before and after the lesson!