Tag: piano motivation

Buying A Piano: Is It Conditional?

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Buying A Piano Is Contingent On What?

Buying A PianoSo, you’re considering buying a piano if “little Suzy of Johnny” is serious about those piano lessons. However, it seems like a bit of a “catch 22″… you’re not sure if you should get your child involved with piano lessons because you don’t know if his/her enthusiasm and sense of commitment warrants your making such a large investment.

This is not an uncommon predicament that so many parents are faced with. However, within this dilemma can often be found the most important determining factor as to whether or not you are in for a successful experience: The commitment has become conditional right from the very beginning.

Sure, like many things, a piano can cost a pretty penny. If your investment is going put strain on the expectations of your child’s mind set, practice habits, and commitment, you will find yourself enduring the same predicament that so many other parents fall victim to. If it is made known to your child that your decision to spend that substantial amount of money on an instrument will be considered to be a “good one” or a “bad one” based on his/her conduct, you just might be dealing with an uphill battle. This approach immediately places a possible stressful scenario on those little shoulders, which really is not warranted at all. Furthermore, if that youngster is always measuring his/her performance up against your conditions, it’s very possible it will have a negative impact on the enjoyment and benefits that might otherwise be reaped if the entire situation was unconditional.

One might consider an alternative approach, one that almost guarantees a rewarding experience in the long run. If you have a television in home, how much thought went into your making the decision that it would be an integral part of your household? In this day and age, it’s pretty much a given that a television is a “necessity.” Interestingly enough, it was the invention and marketing of the television that led to the diminishing of player piano as a source of family entertainment. Prior to that, a lot more homes were complimented with a piano in the living room.

Chances are great that, from the time that you knew you were alive, a television was something you knew to be available. It was a source of entertainment that was pretty much taken for granted. A television was always a must (with few exceptions). Imagine if the same were true of the piano. If a child is born into a family and, while growing up, was always exposed to the that musical piece of furniture being available, would you say the chances exist that this youngster will at least know that having music in his/her life to some degree is always an option? Would it be necessary for that piano to be the primary focus of that child in order for his/her life to be enhanced with music, to whatever extent? One does not have to be a professional piano player any more than one has to be a professional TV watcher in order to enjoy some of the benefits it has to offer.

Piano lessons ought to be offered in the same unconditional fashion. If you have made the decision to have a piano in your home, the burden of responsibility is not on the child’s shoulders. Rather, the experience with music can be enhanced simply by allowing the youngster to become engaged with the guidance of a teacher who can nurture the child’s curiosity, interest in music, and sense of self-appreciation.

Is it possible to connect with a teacher who doesn’t have what it takes to lay the foundation so that the experience is nothing short of positive? It sure is. If that’s the case, you have options. Never base your decision on one experience with one teacher… or two… or three… find the teacher who has the desire and intuitiveness to understand your child’s personality and learning patterns. That person does exist.

Make it unconditional. The learning process does not need to be (nor should it be) a “pass or fail” experience. If your child, prior to lessons, had some curiosity and desire, then it’s up to the teacher to nurture that. Communication between the student, teacher, and parent is most conducive to the entire experience being a positive one. It’s a communicative triangle that you want to establish and allow to strengthen.

If you have enlisted a piano teacher who makes it mandatory that the student practice for at least an hour a day, for example, and your child resists that, then it’s something to talk about. If this particular student/teacher relationship isn’t going to result in your child maintaining a desire to continue having fun with music, then it might be time to move on.

There are variety of other examples that could apply and a number of variables to consider. However, if you maintain the one constant that your child will unconditionally enjoy the learning process and that music will be a part of his/her life, to whatever degree, you’ll do what it takes to make it an enjoyable scenario, one that is conducive to a lifetime enhanced with music.

Considering piano lessons?

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Practicing Piano: Tips, Techniques, & Strategies

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Tips For Practicing Piano

Sarasota Piano LessonsWhen it comes to practicing piano, a good number of us have erratic habits. When you get right down to it, whatever the “reasons” happen to be for not practicing on a given day or at a given time, it really is a matter of priorities. Sure, things come up can lead to our deviating from our routine. However, for the most part, the fact remains that if you are doing something else during your scheduled practice time, that “something else” took precedence (we are not referring to emergencies, etc). If this seems to occur on a regular basis, you might consider taking an honest look at your motivation.

Several factors could be responsible for your enthusiasm being less than 100%. Perhaps the material prescribed to you by your teacher is not giving you enough reason to feel “sparked” enough to practice. Maybe the effort you have put into practicing hasn’t really hasn’t led to your experiencing the kind of results that are conducive to your wanting to spend the time. Whatever it is, it’s worth taking an honest look at. Communication with your piano teacher is of utmost importance, as he or she just might be able to help you look at your situation in a different light.

Wouldn’t it be neat if you had a “practice buddy” who could serve as your extra source of encouragement when you needed it? Someone who gets you to take an honest look at your enthusiasm? Someone who can provide you with some tips, techniques, and strategies for getting you to feel differently about your practicing? Well, actually, there is a program entitled 88 Keys To Learning that serves as such a “buddy.” Once a week, for 88 weeks (that’s over a year and a half!) a short message will appear in your email box with a link to a suggestion that will add a special “twist” to your piano practicing routine. Some of these suggestions will have to do with enthusiasm, some will include suggestions as to how to make your practicing time more fun and rewarding. The program is really designed to get you to think differently about your practice time. To learn more, simply visit here.

The truth is that there is always another way. It could be just a matter of how you think about a particular exercise or small passage of music you happen to be working on. If and when things get a little stale, it can help to be open to what another resource has to offer.

Practicing ought to be a fun experience. Since you have taken it upon yourself to be involved with increasing your understanding and enjoyment of the instrument, you owe it to yourself to make it an adventure, looking forward to each and every session at that piano or keyboard of yours a joy ride!

 

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Learning Chords On The Piano

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Does Your Piano Education Include A Comprehensive Study Of Chords?

Sarasota Piano LessonsAre you able to recognize your basic chords that exist in the music that you are playing? Whether you are a beginner learning out of the first book of John Thompson, the fourth book of Alfred’s, or whatever method you happen to be using, when it comes to that particular song you are working on for the week, how much of that music would you say you actually understand? Let’s face it… the composer of that song had a handle on how to put it together. Thus, the question: Are you simply learning to read and play what you see? Does your piano teacher promote the idea of you looking a bit more deeply into the music so that you can understand its construction at least to a degree?

For example, when playing Fur Elise by Beethoven (whether the original or a simplified arrangement), do you recognize the “A” section of the song as being in the key of in the key of A minor, the two chords played being the I chord and the V chord, namely A minor and E7? Have you taken notice that the B section modulates to the relative major key, namely C Major? What chord members of C Major are played in that section?

Does any of that sound confusing or make no sense at all? If so, have no worries, as you have that in common with so many who have already “mastered” the piece technically. However, if you really want to develop a full appreciation for the music you are playing, a familiarity with the chords and chord progressions will certainly lead you down the path of greater understanding. Whether you are playing Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, or Billy Joel, the basic fundamentals of music exist in the music that you are playing and it makes perfect sense to approach them, at least to a degree, from the perspective of the composer.

In addition, as you gain more and more familiarity with chords and progressions, you are likely to become inspired to create some music of your own. Don’t underestimate your ability. You see, once you have a handle on how the concepts of music come together, you’ll find yourself to be in the driver’s seat and your creative juices will start to flow!

If the study of chords is very new to you, you’ll want to start out by becoming familiar with your basic triads (three-note chords) and 7th chords. In addition, start to appreciate how these chords are used together. For example a C major chord is often followed by an F major chord. Two or more chords played in succession can be referred to as a chord progression. Recognition of chords on the piano, along with how they work together, will open you to greater discoveries. Your curiosity and enthusiasm for learning more will serve as encouragement and inspiration for you to continue your adventure with a greater sense of confidence and appreciation!

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Keeping Your Child Interested In Piano Lessons

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Piano Lessons: The Motivation Factor

Is Your Youngster’s Motivation For Piano Lessons At A High Level?

 

Sarasota Piano LessonsOkay, so you understand at least some of the long term benefits of providing your child with piano lessons and have made the commitment to make it happen. Since it’s been a few weeks or a few months since those lessons started, how would you rate his or her motivation for practicing on a scale of 1 to 10? Are you noticing that he or she runs to that piano or keyboard every time the opportunity arises? Or, rather, has it become a chore for you to get that little maestro of yours to spend just a few minutes at that piano keyboard a couple times a week?

If your situation is closer to the latter, then it’s very likely that something’s missing in the big picture. How’s the rapport between the piano teacher and your youngster? Have you ever been an observer at any of those lessons? Have you taken the opportunity to study the interaction between them? Does your son or daughter respond to the teacher’s suggestions in a receptive way with enthusiasm? When that’s not the case, does the teacher seem cognizant of the student’s lack of enthusiasm? Does this instructor seem to have a handle on the difference between what makes this student “tick” and what doesn’t?

This is an issue worthy of your attention. It’s more than a matter of your getting your money’s worth for those piano lessons, although we are not minimizing the importance of that. What’s more crucial is the long term affects of your child’s experience with those lessons. At a young age, your son’s or daughter’s perspective of engaging in new things such as piano lessons or any other hobby is most probably going to have a significant impact on future endeavors. If he or she is investing a number of weeks or months in lessons for which no genuine passion exists, consider the fact that, at his or her age, that is a significant portion of life – and your youngster is probably not going to forget it. That’s why you may be able to recall more than just one instance of a fellow adult sharing a childhood piano learning experience with statements like, “I took lessons as a child but it wasn’t for me” or “My piano teacher didn’t think I had what it took to play piano or “I didn’t enjoy my piano lessons because my teacher was too strict” or some other words that reflected an unfavorable experience.

That said, doesn’t it make sense that, while your child is involved with piano lessons (for however long), the experience should be nothing less that a positive one? Remember this: the feelings that your child associates with those lessons will have an absolute impact on the feelings he or she experiences while exploring other avenues as well. For this reason, your role and interaction with both your child and the piano teacher is a significant one. Also keep in mind the truth that it’s not just piano your child is learning. Your son or daughter is learning (and teaching himself or herself) how to respond to challenges while nurturing a love for music, and anything else you can think of that includes one-on-one correspondence with a teacher of any kind. That’s why it’s most important that the right teacher be selected.

A most important suggestion is to simply pay attention to what’s going on. Leaving the matter completely up to the teacher and your youngster just might miss the mark when it comes to your assuming the best role that you possibly can. Do what you can to nurture that triangle of communication between your child, the teacher and yourself. By doing so, you are likely to learn quite a bit yourself.  Also, the next time you’re listening to that rendition of Hot Cross Buns or Bach’s Minuet In G coming from the living room, what you hear will represent a whole lot more to you than just music to your ears!

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