1. How long should it take my child to complete a level?
It depends on the age and maturity of the student, the amount of practice time, and the level of family involvement and support. Students should progress through the books at a steady pace, always seeking a balance between being challanged and feeling comfortable. Some students may complete a level in 3 months, while others may take the entire school year or more. The harder the level, the longer it will take.
2. Should my child practice each day, and if so, for how long?
Your child should practice on a daily basis. Some teachers recommend that students have one day off each week from practice. _Check with Mrs. Jenn_ to determine the amount of practice time necessary for your child, based on the student's age, maturity and level of advancement. Don't automatically assume that the child should practice one hour a day. Several short practice periods are usually more successful for students just starting than one longer session. Beginners often start with 15 minutes of practice a day, gradually increasing to 30 minutes by the end of the year. Intermediate students usually practice between 45 minutes to 1 hour a day. Advanced students may practice anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours a day. A good rule not to overwhelm a student, is to always take a day off each week.
3. How should my child structure his/her practice?
Use the assignment pages or dictation book to keep track of what should be practiced and how to practice effectively. Encourage the students to follow the written assignment, but do not discourage experimentation and improvisation at the keyboard. In general, begin with something that is fun and which the child does well. Then, proceed to more difficult things (often new materials). End once again with something the child does well, such as a favorite piece or just plain have fun. This will encourage your child to come back to the piano.
4. What if my child doesn't want to practice?
Accept the fact that most students don't always like to practice, but realize that a child will never play an instrument well without regular practice. If your child is particularly resistant to practice on a certain day, substitute another music activity, such as flashcards or just listen to the CDs or other music. If this continues over a long period of time, discuss the problem with the teacher. Many parents establish a reward system for effective practice. The child will then begin to get into a routine, and practice will become easier.
Piano & theory lessons in northwest Calgary, Alberta. I am a capable teacher that enjoys instructing students both young and mature.
Experience the joy of falling in love with the piano together.-Jenn Higgins