Recently in the media there have been a lot of articles and interviews about how good it is for the child to be involved in the music making, And I cannot agree more!
However, what many articles do not say is that for many families, getting your child to practice becomes one of the major issues in their life, often to the point of the great conflict between the parents themselves or with their children and, as a result, they sometimes give up, and the poor child feels horror for the rest of their life about playing the piano. This is not a pretty picture at all, but does this sound familiar?
In our Piano-Yoga® School, we teach a large number of adult players who start playing the piano in their 30s and often acknowledge the regret of not been able to carry on playing since childhood, remembering their fear and resentment of the whole piano practice process.
So what is the solution? What is the best way to get your child back to that piano, without making him/her feel bad about himself/herself or, opposite, without bribing? By the way, according to the Professor Richard Wiseman, in his book :59 Seconds, he confirms that the parents who praise children for their efforts are doing the right thing, in contrast to parents who praise children for their ability. According to the scientific research provided in his book, praising child for his qualities, make him work less whilst praising the child for his efforts has an opposite effect: Telling a child they possess a certain trait, such as being bright or talented, is not good for their psychological health because it encourages them to avoid challenging situations, not to try so hard and quickly become demotivated when the gets going gets tough. In contrast, praising effort encourages people to stretch themselves, work hard and persist in the face of difficulties.
So what can you do, to get your child back to the piano practice mood?
· Give points to a child on the scale 1 to 10 for the quality of their practice. When they get 100 points he/she will get a prize (Please note this is not the quick fix connecting to bribing, but it is a reward for the hard work)
· Ask your child himself/herself to give points themselves for their piano practice on a scale 1 to 10 for the quality of this practice. At the end of receiving 100 pints they will get a prize.
Make sure that the child is using the block for their feet as this gives them grounding. This example below is taken from our Piano-Yoga website (www.piano-yoga.com), free resources section:Ask your child to work with the clock. You would need to explain how the clock works and then design a weekly practice schedule, with the exact minutes for each piece, It will look like this:Do some simple yoga exercises with the belt (kids love it), that invigorate the body and mind . The following exercise was taken from our Piano-Yoga website ( www.piano-yoga.com), free resources sectionMake your child his favorite drink on the completion of the practice…
The whole point of these techniques is to put your child in charge of theirpractice and make them feel good about it. This would help to cultivate grown-up qualities of enjoyment and responsibility for your work.
But what would you do if, in spite of all this, your child still resents his/her practicing time? My advice is, do not push too hard… Give it time and come back to it later, once your little one is ready, as the worst thing you can do is to make your child hate practicing forever and, because of it, miss out on the joy of learning the instrument.
I would be very happy to hear your feedback on the above points and can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by GéNIA
Russian virtuoso pianist, GéNIA, is an acclaimed pioneer on the classical music scene, with numerous TV and radio appearances. The founder of Piano-Yoga® , the first entirely new piano technique to emerge in over 50 years, GéNIA was taught by her great-grandmother, the renowned pedagogue Regina Horowitz (sister of pianist Vladimir Horowitz) and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her eclectic repertoire embraces classical and multimedia projects. With releases for Black Box and Nonclassical labels, she worked with numerous key figures in the music industry. A visionary pedagogue, GéNIA also founded the Piano-Yoga® Music School in London and gradated from the Life Centre, London in 2008 as qualified BWY Yoga Teacher. GéNIA’s next appearance is on Sunday 24th March 4:00-4.30 presenting Piano-Yoga® for Kids at the ‘All About Piano” Festival at Institut français, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT . View the webpage here.