We often have many parents enquire about how best to help children with music practice at home so thought that the following points may give you some pointers. I Hope it helps!!
Focusing on these 3-4 simple tips will dramatically improve your child’s practice time:
1. Sing notes as you play.
Ask your child to sing the names of the notes out loud as they play. This will really help consolidate note recognition, so it becomes second-nature. (It’s like learning a language.)
3. Spot practice (isolate tricky bits).
Circle any stumbles with a pencil. Then spend the next few practice sessions JUST going over the trouble spots. Practice each trouble spot 10x without mistakes before attempting to play the whole piece again. You might find that you spend the whole week just doing a few tricky bars! That’s ok.
2. Play slowly.
Play the music SLOWLY and EVENLY. The speed should be slow enough to enable the child to play at an even tempo (pace) without any pauses to find tricky notes.
4. Hands separately.
If your child is up to hands-together pieces, ensure that they warm up by practicing each hand separately. They should be confident with each hand (no stumbles or pauses) before attempting to put hands together.
After one year of keyboard, we were pleasantly surprised how well Christy performed as part of a group in a lovely end of year concert. Christy found further motivation when I finally made time to squeeze in a few private lessons so that she could measure her progress by completing exams. The group and private lessons provide complementary outcomes, by creating a musician who wants to improve and who can play as part of a group. Cath has a caring approach, and there is no pressure to take on private lessons.
My daughter has been attending Kids on Key through our school for the last 4 years. In this time she has developed a love of music and fostered a wonderful relationship with her music teacher. Kids on Key has provided my daughter with a positive, fun and challenging music program. My daughter is excited to be partaking in her next ANZCA exam for piano this year and I am positive that her love of music and piano is because of the fantastic environment provided by Kids on Key.
My children have been learning keyboard for about 4 years with Kids on Key. I think it is a fantastic program, especially as these classes can be done around school times. My children have learned to read music as well as learn keyboard, both of which I truly believe helps to expand our children’s mind for many other areas of their life, similar to the benefits of learning another language, and Susan is just a wonderful teacher. The opportunity to further the education with exams and grading is there for the students that wish to pursue their instruments further.
My daughter has really enjoyed her Zoom guitar lessons during ISO. The audio is great at both ends, the teacher can see everything she’s doing with her hands and she is very engaged. On the technical side, I'm amazed how seamless the process is and how well it all works.
Catherine Green – St Peter’s
During the COVID lockdown, music lessons went online and I was a bit apprehensive about how it would work. After we sorted all the technical stuff, I was really surprised by how much Nate engaged in the lessons. He told me after a month or so that he really enjoys having the lessons online and that he finds it easier to focus and learn. The way Cath sets it up works really well in terms of seeing the keyboard and taking turns in playing and listening. Nate's been more motivated than ever to practice and engage in the end of term concert. He's thinking about continuing online lessons when school returns, so he doesn't miss out on school time.
Gwyneth Rees - Tucker Rd Primary
The online music lessons offered by Kids on Key have been fabulous. The sessions were scheduled around our existing commitments, were well structured and tailored to suit the needs of my son. It was easier for my son to focus, without any external disruptions, and he made good progress during this time. I will certainly be considering online lessons for the future.
Lorraine Theodore – Resurrection Primary