Level of parents involvement in practice time

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

I'm a relatively new teacher (1 1/2 years) and am wondering how involved I should encourage the parents to be in their child's practice time. 7-11 yr old students don't seem to do as well if they are not watched over by parents in their practice time (they develop terrible habits like those described by John Bisceglia in his msg about testing students practice habits) but at the same time, some seem resentful at their parents being too involved. I know that parents are not encouraged to get so overly involved in school homework that their child can't figure things out for themselves. Does the same reasoning apply here?

-- Melissa (dreese_md@yahoo.com), September 09, 2002


An important aspect of teaching children music is TEACHING THEIR PARENTS! This means concise and varied information distributed on a regular basis along with encouragement. Children who have parental involvement tend to progress MUCH faster and stick with lessons longer than children who do not have any supervision.

We need to set up situations where students can "figure things out for themselves" ("on your own pieces", for example), but there are some aspects of lessons that children cannot (or will not) tend to without a parent's help. Most children will not figure out and MAINTAIN proper physical gestures and posture on their own. Analogies to sports, gymnastics, dance, etc. may help parents realize how physical piano playing can be.

Most children will play through a piece and think they "got it"; adult ears can hear more discriminately.

Melissa, each family is soooooo different, and we cannot control what happens outside our studios, but we can MODEL for parents effective and appropiate ways to guide children as they practice. This is one reason why I "strongly encourage" all parents to attend lessons.

I hope this late-night post makes sense and helps you in some way!

-- John Bisceglia (bisceglia2000@yahoo.com), September 10, 2002.

Bravo, John! Couldn't have said it better myself.

In addition, I have found it helpful to ask parents to play some classical music at home each day, even if it just in the background. You need to get the sound in their ears.

-- Arlene Steffen (asteffen@fresno.edu), September 14, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ