Congratulations on making such a valuable investment in your child! Not only is learning the piano a fun and satisfying activity that your child can enjoy right now, but it will also have lasting benefits that your child will draw upon for years to come.
As a parent there are a number of ways you can be supporting your child’s piano study. I try to provide plentiful resources for parents to help you understand the best ways you can help your child to succeed at the piano.
Getting Set Up At Home
Having a good instrument for your student to practice on is crucial! It can be tempting to want to hold of on investing in an instrument until after you know that your child will enjoy piano. Or, you might feel like you can get by with an older piano or basic keyboard for now. Once you have made the commitment to enroll your child in piano lessons, I highly recommend getting a substantial instrument for practice.
If you think about it, trying to get by without an instrument or with an inferior instrument really isn’t giving your student an adequate opportunity to succeed with the piano.
The following articles are a guide to help you understand what you’re looking for when purchasing a piano:
- The Ins and Outs Of Buying A Piano: Introduction
- Buying An Acoustic Piano
- Keyboards and Portable Digital Pianos
If you’re considering getting started with a keyboard, I highly recommend the Yamaha P125. This is the most basic and affordable option for beginners, but it is also substantial enough to last many years until you’re ready to upgrade.
If you end up going the route of starting with a keyboard, make sure you have all of the appropriate accessories.
Your piano teacher will likely get your student set up for his or her first set of books, but if you choose to shop for books on your own, here are my top 3 places to purchase sheet music.
I have successfully taught piano lessons online via video chat platforms like FaceTime and Skype for many years. This works really well for families in remote areas or families who may have trouble with transportation to piano lessons. You can read here about how online lessons work and it may be a consideration for your family.
Once you get set up with an appropriate instrument for your student to use at home, you’ll want to establish an excellent practice routine at home.
Many parents hope that their child will naturally take to the piano and practice daily without prompting or nagging.
The reality is that practicing piano is just like any other discipline that is expected of a child.
Do you ever have to remind your child about brushing their teeth, putting their clothes away, doing homework or any other daily tasks?
It is very likely that practicing the piano will be among these daily tasks that need constant reminders. As the parent, the responsibility of practicing really falls upon your shoulders.
Even if your child is super motivated and practices independently each day, there’s a good chance that they’ll need help practicing effectively and efficiently. I highly recommend keeping piano practice a light-hearted and pleasant part of the day. It can be easy to let it turn into another chore, but try to keep the tone around the piano as pleasant as possible so that your child will want to return to it each day.
Helping families get into a good practice routine is one of my favorite topics to discuss and I’ve written a number of articles on it. You can find them here:
- Motivation Medicine: My Number One Tip For Establishing A Good Practice Routine
- Peeling Away The Piano Practice Layers
- Creating A Culture Of Practice Within Your Home
- Practice With Repetition
- Practice Vs. Play
- Book Review: 101 Piano Practice Tips
- Practice And Learn Piano With These 9 Apps
- Make Your Own Piano Practice Counter With Beads
- Make Your Own Piano Practice Counter – Larger Wooden Version
- 30 Ways To Practice Piano Over Christmas Break
- How To Keep Your Child’s Piano Skills Sharp In The Summer
- Practice Tip: Slow Down
- Practice Tip: Last Chord First
- Practice Tip: Find A Routine
Recitals And Competitions
Your child will probably have an opportunity to play the piano in a public setting at some point. Most piano teachers host recitals for their studio at least once a year. Your local Music Teacher’s Organization might also host annual competitions for piano students. These events are often accessible for even young beginning students. Be sure to communicate with your teacher about what to expect. You can find helpful guides on these events below.
- Parents’ Guide To Piano Recitals
- Overcoming Piano Recital Disappointment
- How To Help Your Child Prepare For A Music Competition
Resources To Help Parents Learn Piano
One of the very best ways that you can be a good resource to you child is to learn the piano yourself. Get rid of any notion that you have that it’s too late to learn, that you’re not talented or that you don’t have time. If watching your child play the piano ever gives you a yearning to try it yourself, I highly encourage you to take the leap.
By learning the piano, you will be gaining the same skills and knowledge as your child. You’ll become available to help your child interpret their music or to demonstrate how to play something.
But, even more importantly, learning music will help you to understand the internal and mental challenges that come along with playing the piano. To non-musicians, playing music appears to largely be an external physical activity that involves coordinating your hands and keeping a steady beat. However, a huge part of playing music happens in your brain. Many kids don’t know how to articulate the complexities of the thoughts that happen at the piano. Imagine being able to travel that journey with your child. It will help you see that that every victory at the piano is worth celebrating and it will help you understand how to help your child work through the challenges and struggles.
I created Beginning Piano For Adults, an easy-to-follow online course specifically for busy parents who are interested in learning the piano. You can start it at any time, move at your own pace and practice as much or as little as each week allows. Once you enroll, a new lesson is delivered to your inbox once a week for 8 weeks. However, you have no obligation to complete the course in that 8 week timeframe. You’ll have unlimited access to the course forever. Learn more about Beginning Piano For Adults here.
Another terrific online resources for parents who want to learn the piano is flowkey. Flowkey is an app with hundreds of piano tutorials on it. It also includes a basic online course for anyone just getting started. I make a point to endorse resources that have strong educational value and I’ve found flowkey tutorials to be far better than many other online tutorials. You’ll enjoy learning piano songs with flowkey and it’s likely that your child will also be interested in learning from it as well. It’s a win-win! You can read my review of flowkey here and find a guide for beginners here.
For parents looking for just the very basics, check out these posts that will help you navigate the piano and your child’s book.
It’s always helpful to have a steady stream of good piano advice, so be sure to read these posts to help you and your student stay on your A game.
- Advice For New And Not So New Piano Parents
- Piano Parent Tips
- How To Succeed At The Piano – Advice From The Pros
- Gift Guide For Piano Fans
For Parents Of Preschoolers
Many parents wonder how early they should start their kids in piano lessons. The answer to this questions will vary depending on each teacher’s preferences and the readiness of the child. I’m a huge advocate of movement-based music classes for preschoolers and I love to help parents find simple ways to encourage an interest in music in kids ages 0-5.