piano humor
Image Courtesy of Pinterest

One of the biggest challenges for a piano teacher is to convince his or her students that learning piano is fun. That’s completely understandable, because learning piano takes a lot of time and practice, and kids generally don’t understand the concept of deferred gratification.

Any normal child will have a hard time concentrating on something he or she regards as non-essential. It’s simple: for a child, fun is essential, and work isn’t. But there are ways to make piano fun for kids – two effective ways:

There are two effective ways to encourage your piano students to fall in love with piano and piano practice. The first, is to to change the way your students physically experience piano with things like practice incentives, games, and motivating repertoire. We talk often about these things on the blog.

The second, is to change the way your piano students THINK about piano, piano practice, and music in general. This is equally as effective, just as important, and yet… often ignored. But not today!

Today we’re going to show you the power of a mental shift… Via Teach Piano Today

For music teachers and musical parents, it’s easy to appreciate the privilege of learning a musical instrument and having it in your home. It’s easy for you to appreciate the joy it brings and the difference it makes in your life.

We all, at some point, can find ourselves speaking of piano and piano practice as a chore… as something that is imposed upon our students and, therefore, as something that children would rather not do. But what would happen if we instead began talking about piano and piano practice as a gift? Via Teach Piano Today

Kids can appreciate a good thing when it’s presented to them in the right way. You never have to ask a child to go play with his or her favorite toys, do you? So the trick here is to get him or her to regard the piano in the same way.

piano fun
Image Courtesy of LessonsInYourHome

So how do we do it?

  1. Help them develop an appetite for good music

Encouraging your piano students to regularly listen to a variety music gives them the opportunity to experience the emotions that music can produce and to gain some understanding of important role that music plays in life. Via Teach Piano Today

  1. Create opportunities to see the effects of music

One of the best ways to understand the gift of music is to give it to others. Such an experience allows you to see the joy it brings and allows you to reflect on the joy it brings to your own life. So how can you apply the same to kids?

Consider using your recitals as “benefit concerts” for a family or individual in need in your community for a tangible way to show how music can bring about change. You may also want to provide opportunities for your students to perform for those who don’t always have access to music (extended care facilities etc.). Children need to see first-hand that their music can have a profound effect on other people. Via Teach Piano Today

  1. Set goals based on what they like
piano fun
Image Courtesy of MakingMusicMagic

Kids will put much more effort into learning a piece that they like. Exposing your students or child to lots of motivating and inspiring repertoire will allow them to find music that makes them tick.

Every student should have a piece of music that they adore. When I was a kid it was the theme from the TV show Cheers. I heard someone play it in a recital and I worked like nobody’s business to get to the level where I too could play that piece.

When I reached that level, I felt a keen awareness of my own progress and experienced a shift in my thinking towards piano practice; it was no longer something I did for my parents or my piano teacher. It was something I did for myself. Via Teach Piano Today

  1. Provide role models

When kids get to interact with older music students at higher levels, they naturally tend to look up to them and emulate them.

Give your students many opportunities to see your intermediate and advanced students in action. Show them the similarities between their role models and themselves (Jason used to love this piece too!) and give them opportunities to connect with their musical peers. This encourages your students to strongly identify themselves as being musicians. Via Teach Piano Today

  1. Build awareness

Bring composers to life through interesting stories and then pair the time period of their piece with visual examples of the art and architecture of the same period… anything you can do to interest them in why their music is the way it is will begin to build an appreciation for the music itself. Via Teach Piano Today

  1. Let them own it
piano tank
Image Courtesy of Teach Piano Today

When kids are (to some extent) in charge of their own piano progress, they’re going to be a lot more committed to the learning process.

Encourage your piano students to take ownership over their own learning processes by making repertoire selections, bringing in ideas of music they’d like to play, and deciding on the order of your lesson activities with the ultimate goal of having our students make home practice “their project”. Via Teach Piano Today

  1. Adopt a language shift

Having my students make the decisions about what they would like to accomplish, using phrases like “You get to play this piece as much as you like this week!” and generally changing the focus and the vocabulary I use away from practice being viewed as a chore is a goal that I’ve set for myself this year. Via Teach Piano Today

Featured Image: Image Credit

How To Make Piano Practice Fun

Related Articles:

The age old question…how do we make piano scales fun and relevant?

“Ok, let’s start with some scales.”

*Cue student’s eyelid’s drooping*.

We all know we’re supposed to teach our piano students their scales, but it can quickly turn into a battle of wills. I never want to tell my students to “eat their vegetables”, so how do I make those vegetables look like candy? Via Timtopham

How to Make Practising Scales on the Piano Fun

hubpagesIf you play or are learning to play the piano or keyboard, there’s a good chance you’ll be required to practise playing scales. Not everybody’s a fan of playing scales or of having to practise them, but they are important. Learning scales can help you by:

Enabling you to find your way around the keyboard easier
Helping you understand keys and key signatures
Giving you the means to play the majority of piano music from Bach to Bacharach and beyond. Via HubPages

The ONE Smart Piano could make learning to play much more fun

nextwebWhen I was six years old, one of the ways I amused myself was to sit down at the baby grand piano in the living room and tap out tunes I heard on the radio. In response, my parents embarked on a six-year run of piano lessons.

While I eventually warmed to the disciplined practice required, once the lessons ended, I never touched the piano again. Research indicates that, like me, some 50 percent of American kids took piano lessons, but only 12 percent play as adults. Via The Next Web