As parents, we want to see our kids do well at the piano and enjoy the process. It would be great if they would continue to play and enjoy the piano for the entire lives.

However, sometimes our kids aren’t the enthusiastic learners that we hope they would be.

Learning the piano involves a lot of ups and downs. It can be really challenging and frustrating at times. And, at other times, it can be fun and exciting. 

As parents, it’s important to take this journey with our kids so that they have support and encouragement on both the challenging days as well as the easy days.

Here are things that you can do to help your child stay motivated with the piano:

Set Them Up For Success

Many of the early decisions you make about piano lessons will either set your kids up for success or failure.

For example, here are some things that you can do to help them get off to a smooth start:

-Make sure they have a good instrument to practice on.

You’ll want to make sure that you have a tuned and well-maintained acoustic piano or a digital piano with 88 full-size weighted keys. Make sure your piano works well and feels comfortable to play. You could compare learning on an inferior piano to playing soccer with a balloon. It just doesn’t work well, and it’s hard to be successful.

-Find a teacher that suits your child’s learning style.

It’s really important that your child responds well to their teacher. It’s worth calling around and getting to know a few teaching before jumping in with lessons.

-Make sure your child is learning age and level appropriate music that appeals to them.

Discuss with your child and their teacher what styles of music they could learn. Sometimes kids have an idea in their mind about what it will be like to play the piano, and they’re disappointed when their piano teacher doesn’t teach them the music that they envisioned. Show them videos of other kids playing the piano so that they can learn about what’s possible on the piano at their age.

Help your child understand the long-term commitment of learning the piano.

Most kids can’t grasp the timeframe it will take to learn to play the piano really well. The novelty of piano lessons might wear off within a few weeks or months. It’s important for them to understand that piano takes many years to learn well.

Be Their Biggest Cheerleader

Your kids will notice your excitement about learning piano. 

Learning the piano can come with a lot of feeling so frustration when some thing seems difficult or when it feels like no progress is happening. 

Cheer your child on for every effort they make. Even when their practicing sounds messy or incorrect, give them a boost for trying and encourage them to keep going. 

Celebrate their effort and help them notice the progress and good things going on in their playing.

Set An Expectation For Practice

Piano practice should be a non-negotiable part of the day, kind of like brushing teeth and doing homework.

It should be made clear from the beginning that piano practice is an expectation.

Help your child find a good practice routine by finding a productive time of the day to fit practice time in on a consistent basis.

Set an alarm for practice time or include it in your daily schedule.

Just because piano practice is expected, make sure that it doesn’t feel too much like a chore. There’s a fine line between nudging kids to succeed and pushing them to burnout.

Get Involved

It means so much to piano students to have an audience to hear them play.

Some kids really enjoy having an adult paying attention to their practice. Help them interpret their practice instructions, clap after each song or just sit and listen as they play.

If your child seems confused or frustrated, help them search for answers or clarity.

Make sure your child has a fan club at piano recitals to cheer them on and to make them feel really special.

Use Appropriate Rewards

Since you know your child best, you know what motivates them in other areas of their life.

If your child is motivated by incentives and reward systems, find a way to incorporate piano practice into a reward system.

Rewards could be treats or prizes, but of course, they could be experiences and privileges can be really motivating too.

Sometimes kids need small daily rewards in order to help them develop a habit or routine.

Other times, you might need to come up with bigger, long-term rewards to keep them going.

Learn With Your Child

When kids see their parents learning something new, it makes them interested too.

Parents learning the piano have often reported that when they sit down to practice the piano, their kids suddenly want to practice too. While this might put a damper on your own piano practice, this is great for your kids!

If you’re curious about getting started at the piano, check out this course: Beginning Piano For Adults. Use the code MUSICNOTES to save $30.

Congratulations on making the commitment to helping your child succeed at the piano! Playing the piano is a lifelong gift that your kids can enjoy for years to come, especially if a love and appreciation for music is nurtured and encouraged.

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This post was written by Megan, piano teacher and author of Pianissimo: A Very Piano Blog. Visit her website for more piano related blogs for teachers, parents, students, and all things piano.

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