Three-Way Commitment Piano Success Plan

Piano success is dependent on a three-way commitment between parent, student, and teacher.

Parent

  • Support your child in this wonderful adventure of music making. Your enthusiasm and commitment to this endeavor is crucial to your child’s success. Let your child know that you love to hear them play the piano. Celebrate their successes whether it is a good recital performance or mastering the next piece in the book. Be generous with your praise and encouragement. Find places for them to perform – for relatives, friends, at church, at school. Be proud of their accomplishments large and small.

  • Communicate with your teacher. Let them know when things are going well and when they are not.

  • Help your child find time to practice.

    • Spend time at home.
    • Limit your child’s activities.
    • Prioritize music.
    • Create a quiet, undisturbed place for practice.
  • Supervise practice. For elementary students, this means sitting with them during their daily practice to help them stay on task and follow written directions. Older students need you to periodically check on their progress and to listen to their playing.

  • Motivate your child with lots of praise, (and stickers, charts, or rewards as needed!)

  • Observe lessons occasionally so you can see and hear what the expectations are for your child.

  • Provide a quality instrument – a piano with good action, a pleasing tone, and correct pitch. Tune the piano at least once a year.

  • Attend concerts and listen to classical music with your child. Attend a concert once a month. Turn the radio to classical music.

Student

  • Practice daily.

  • Practice intelligently, following the instructions your teacher discusses at your lesson.

  • Practice the whole assignment – not just your favorite piece.

  • Use a pencil. Do your activity or theory book assignments, write in fingerings and dynamics, and make notes in your music or notebook.

  • Count out loud.

  • Use the metronome.

  • Keep your fingernails short.

  • Bring all your music to the lesson. This is your responsibility, not Mom or Dad’s. They don’t always know which books you need.

  • Come to lessons with a positive attitude. A positive attitude will make every challenge easier to overcome.

  • Try your hardest.

  • Ask questions.

  • Share your music with your family, your friends, your church or temple, your school, and anyone else you can think of.

Teacher

  • Be knowledgeable about piano technique and literature and music theory and history.

  • Be knowledgeable about piano pedagogy.

  • Continue to learn and explore new ideas on teaching and literature by studying and working with the Piano Lab Director.

  • Participate in the professional organizations of Music Teachers National Association and Minnesota Music Teachers Association.

  • Motivate students to work hard through good literature, recitals, festivals, exams, contests, prizes, and praise.

  • Plan a unique curriculum for each student based on his or her learning style, ability, and personality.

  • Be enthusiastic about making music.

  • Guide each student to music independence. Help each student develop the skills needed to learn music on their own and to be literate and intelligent music connoisseurs.