Try not to practice any longer than 20 minutes in one sitting. Your body and mind can focus in and achieve a lot during a short time period like this and you won’t run the risk of injuring yourself at the piano. Go and wash the dishes, do homework, walk the dog, or eat dinner. Then come back to the piano for another 10-15 minute practice session. Rest, practice, rest, repeat.
If you are like most parents I come into contact with you have a strong affinity for music and appreciation of the benefits it has offered you over your lifetime in various forms. All of the families I work with value the musical foundation that piano lessons offer and the reasons are endless. Here is a New York Times article that touches on some of them, with an emphasis at the end on how attitudes toward learning music can put the icing on the cake-if one of the primary goals is to make it a meaningful and enjoyable experience, not just a therapeutic tool.
Whether they’re putting on a play in the living room or giving their very first recital, kids who perform gain skills that extend far beyond the standing ovation-such as being four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
Check out the article in Scholastic’s Parent and Child magazine to learn more…
A couple of weeks ago 20 students performed memorized pieces at our Fall Recital. Even my youngest students, at 4 years old, had musical treats for us as did an adult student . Everyone there did an incredible job. Congratulations everyone!!
Article by Howard Richman
Realty: There is no difference. From my own personal experience of teaching both children and adults since 1975, this idea that a child’s brain is more receptive is incorrect. What may be true is that the child is less encumbered by the busy-ness of life and tends to have less mental clutter. This state results in a naturally-better focusing ability which creates the illusion that the child may be able to absorb new material faster than the adult. However, what the child often doesn’t have is desire. The adult really wants to study piano. And this great desire creates the same type of focus that is needed for quick learning. In fact, adults who have this intention, often from wanting to make up “for lost time,” often learn faster than children! The adult who is just a dabbler who doesn’t have the great desire is a typical hectic, frazzled adult. This type of adult is the adult who will tend to learn slower — not because they don’t practice enough, but because their energy is so distracted. Another cause of distraction is self-judgement and stress and impatience that is associated with learning. Adults have had their lifetimes to become familiar with music so they know how it is “supposed” to sound, whereas children usually have never heard the piece they are learning. As a result, adults do tend to become easily frustrated by comparing their current ability to play a piece with the way they know it should sound — and THIS comparison can cause enough stress and anxiety that the adult student will often lose interest or stop playing altogether. So adult students need to take caution about this unnecessary temptation to think they “should” sound like a professional pianist after only playing for three weeks. The adult student must learn to embrace his or her current ability with grace and appreciation. From this point improvement will occur.