little funny boy plays piano at home

There are many factors that could adversely impact an ideal piano practising atmosphere. Here are a few items that I encountered the most in my past teaching experience.

Environmental factors could be: Temperature, Air, Acoustic, Light, Ambient Noise,  Ambient Distraction (TV), Radio, Stereo.

An ideal practising environment would be: Right temperature and not sitting directly under an air duct, a decent room acoustic, enough light to effortlessly read the notes and view the keyboard, no ambient noise and no aural distraction such as TV, Radio, Stereo etc.

Instrument (Piano) factors could be: Action, Sticky Keys, Dirty Keys, Tuning, Bench Height, Position on Bench.

An ideal instrument (Piano) needs: A clean action (movement of the keys) with no sticky keys. If there are some sticky keys a piano technician should be called to fix it. An acoustic piano should be tuned at least once a year. The bench should have the right height and the student should be sitting centered by the middle C.

Student’s Adverse Wellness Factors could be: Insufficient Vision, Weak Hearing, Tiredness, Hungry, Thirsty, Upset, Problem, Sick, Pain.

To maintain ideal Wellness the student should have: A good near vision and sufficient hearing. If a suspicion exists an eye-test or hearing-test should be performed by a specialst. A student should be well rested and fed. However, tiredness and insufficient interest also can stem from not understood or misunderstood words or musical symbols. In this case those should be cleared up first. Other personal factors should be handled with good communication or medical help if needed.

No or insufficient Management: No or insufficient Schedule, no Target

Successful piano playing needs a plan: Even if fun and spiritual enrichment are two of our main concerns when playing a musical instrument, a plan of some sort is necessary. Best is to have a daily practising schedule and a target that should be reached. It is best to let the child select the schedule and practising time himself but once selected one should adhere to it.

No practising method: Don’t know how to Practice, playing always from the Beginning, not reading Notes, playing too Fast, no Finger Training.

Here is what I suggest: Before you start playing the assigned piece do some finger exercises as suggested in your piano lesson. Learn to read notes. Use our Learning Modules on this website for note identification. Stay always in contact with the notes so you can control what you play. Slow down your Tempo (speed). Play regularly and use a Metronome to control the beat. Don’t always start at the beginning. Isolate a brief portion of your piece and just practice this until you master it. Increase your speed gradually so you don’t have stops in your playing flow.

Not using Resources such as: Music Dictionary, Keyboard and Reference Chart, Metronome

There are many tools that facilitate the training. An extensive music dictionary is included in this website. A Keyboard Reference Chart extends over the whole keyboard and shows the related notes on the Grand Staff. It can be purchased at Sam Ash. A Metronome is very useful. Either a s mobile device app or a Mechanical Metronome will do its job. Most of the electronic keyboards have a built in metronome.

Involving too much or too less: Forcing, Constant Controlling, Unconcern, Disregard.

How much should the parents be involved?: This depends on age and the child’s self-reliance. My recommendation is a mild and rather passive admiring attitude if the child does the job on his own. If the child needs help or some encouragement don’t hesitate to assist. But don’t force the kid to play the piano. Encourage with a positive attitude and if needed make a deal. I personally am not a fan of toy, sugar or candy deals. But it worked out well with my own kids when I suggested them a “deal” such as: “For each hour of video games or TV, 10 minutes of piano playing.”

Siblings and Friends: Both could be either a Help or Distraction Factor.

Suggestion: Welcome siblings or friends while your kid is practising if they are of some kind of help for the student. If they are not, tell them to leave your piano playing kid alone while he/she is practising. Sometimes another child plays a different instrument. If they wish, let them play together once in awhile.