4 Tips to Bring the Most Out of Piano Lessons
The benefits to giving your child piano lessons cannot be understated. Music is one of very few activities that has been shown to actually grow new brain cells. Brain scans have shown that the benefits of learning to play the piano extend even to listening to the piano being played after learning to play yourself. So now that you’re convinced and signed up for beginner piano lessons in NYC, how do you get the most out of those lessons? Here are 4 tips to help.
Even if you have signed your kids up for beginner piano lessons, you need to invest in a proper instrument. A cheap electric keyboard that does not have full, weighted 88 keys will prevent you or your child from making much progress in your lessons. You do not need to invest in a piano that will require tuning, but an electric keyboard with weighted keys is a minimum if you want to truly benefit from your lessons. Many teachers will not even agree to provide lessons if you do not meet this minimum requirement.
If you do decide to purchase a piano that requires tuning, or happen to have one on hand already, be aware that these instruments will require professional tuning at least once a year and ideally twice a year. Simply moving an acoustic piano can cause it to go out of tune, and for optimal ear training, each key should be properly tuned.
One of the biggest downfalls of private piano lessons, whether in NY or elsewhere, is lack of regular practice. Your piano instructor will be able to provide an ideal practice schedule based on your experience and age; but in general, you should practice, or have your child practice, at least once a day, every day. Paying for lessons without spending the required time practicing is a waste of both your time and money.
Know What to Practice
If you do not know exactly what you need to be practicing in-between lessons, your practice will not be effective. If your child’s piano teacher does not allow you to sit in on lessons, be sure to ask for specific practice instructions written down so that both you and your child can remember exactly what to practice each day. You will likely need to sit with your child each day during their practice times to make sure they are covering each thing required, and practicing correctly. Incorrect practice trains the fingers to play wrong notes, whereas correct practice trains the fingers to play correctly.
Communicate the Importance of Music
If you feel that piano lessons in your Manhattan home are important enough to pay for, communicate that with both words and actions. Your children will learn from this and adopt your opinions for the importance of music when you lead the way. Make a proper place in your home for your piano, take time out of your day to play yourself, or sign up for adult piano lessons if you don’t know how to play. Show that you enjoy listening to your child play and encourage them with positive, upbeat comments on their improvement.