Five ways to make piano practice fun for young pianists

Young children are usually VERY enthusiastic when they first start piano lessons. They have a new book, maybe a new piano or keyboard and as they approach the world of piano music they feel as if they are entering a magical place.

They are! The world of piano IS magical and can be such a wonderful and amazing place. It is also, sometimes, a slightly confusing and difficult place. Children often forget what they have been told during their weekly lesson and can then feel frustrated, leading to a loss of interest.

So, how can we make it easier for them?

Here are five ideas:

    1. Give them very small, easy tasks. Typically teachers may suggest that a piece should be practiced  hands separately or hands together, or that a student should just keep playing a piece until they can do it faster or without mistakes.  Whilst doing this would result in improvement many children will get bored with this type of instruction. Much better is to focus on one small section of a piece. Maybe to get the ending really good, and maybe to add a few notes of their own to the written ending. It often works to repeat the last note one octave higher.
    2. Link practice time with another regular and enjoyable event in their schedule. For example, if they always do a bit of practice just before they have breakfast they will eventually begin to feel that practice leads to a reward, even if breakfast isn’t actually the reward for practice.
    3. Use pictures to aid memory. If they are finding it difficult to read the music or to remember the names of  the notes on the keyboard it may help to put some stickers on the keys. These ones are great as each one has a picture of how the note appears when it is appears in written music. Once on the keys they look really colourful and the smiley faces in each letter will really encourage
      children to go to AND stay at the piano.
      Click here to buy your own set of stickers from Amazon 
    4. Continue reading “Five ways to make piano practice fun for young pianists”

How to improve sight reading

It is undoubtably true that sight reading on the piano is much harder than on any other instrument – there are so many notes to read, often 2, 3 or 4 in each hand. So it is little surprise that it is most piano students’ least favourite activity.

However, the ability to sight read well is THE key to becoming a successful pianist. If pieces can be played pretty well on the first read through then more music can be learnt. Very hard music can be learnt much more quickly and the frustrating initial stages of learning new pieces are much briefer. Continue reading “How to improve sight reading”

How to be a good practiser

There is no doubt that pianists, of all levels, who practice more become better than those whose practice is sparse or irregular. But regular practice is easier said than done and even with the best of intentions the days between lessons can slip by quickly and practice becomes a last minute rush done only on the day before the lesson. Sounds familiar?

If so these practice tips may help: Continue reading “How to be a good practiser”