Today's Blog Post is a short one, but it is sweet and true.
I came across this picture today while scrolling through Pinterest and it made me think of how much influence parents have on their kids <3
If you have ever gone back and forth about joining your child in taking music lessons, it is something we highly recommend!
In a separate post, I talked about tips on how to help your child practice at home. One of the tips was to simply be there, whether you play a musical instrument or not at all. And that is 1100% true; kids tend to practice more when they have someone to share it with!
Since converting to our Advanced Program (group lessons), we have many students and their parents who take lessons; some together, some separate. Each gain a broad understanding of what and how to practice that supports the advancement of learning at home and progress, along with developing a relationship formed around music that is priceless!
The adjustment to this new quarantine lifestyle has had it's ups and downs. It has definitely thrown us teachers a curve ball but we are forever grateful for it!
Why? Because we have seen SO man of our students come out of their shell, musically, like we've never seen before. Students are practicing now more than ever, it has opened our business to more possibilities
and teaching opportunities around the US, and it has given us insight into the environment in which our students practice. This may seem small but it actually helps us better understand practice habits and routines so that we can adjust our teaching methods as we need per student.
With that said, here are some positive benefits of online music instruction:
#1: The cancellation of sports and after school activities have significantly increased practice and progress for several students.
#2: Students have had to figure out many more things in the music on their own, independently--a great life skill!
#3: Online communication will be a standard way to communication for everyone in the years to come.
#4: Parents are thrilled to have an activity that can occupy their children that maintains stability of healthy life during this difficult time.
#5: Music Education at school might be limited or different these days. Online music instruction allows students to achieve a solid music education.
#6: Stopping lessons until in-person lessons can resume will hinder progress!
These are just some of the many reasons why continuing with online lessons can benefit your child (:
Some of you may be wondering, "Where have I seen this piano before?"
You guessed it! It is our very own Joanna Gaines' family piano! If you love her as much as I do, you probably adore this piano and are already consumed with Pinterest boards on "DIY How to Paint and Decorate Your Piano." Trust me, I've been doing it all throughout quarantine! Although you may see a pretty piano perfectly decorated, I see a piano with perfect lighting, a lot of space, and, knowing Joanna, there is definitely some sort of storage/organization.
Anyway, the point of this post is how to create a safe and effective learning environment in the comfort of your own home. Here are four solid tips!
#1: SPACE. Having room to stretch, move around, and having room to explore the piano is essential to independent learning! It gives students the room to grow, ask questions, and take a break when they need it.
#2: LIGHT. I cannot express enough how the quality of light in a room can effect practice! A dark room can make you feel tired, especially when staring at sheet music. If the room you practice in is warm in lighting, put an extra lamp in there to brighten it up a bit!
#3: STORAGE & ORGANIZATION. A place to store your books and other musical belongings (sheet music, other books, worksheets, work books, etc.) helps with easy access, keeping your child/student on task, and gives them options on what to practice--the more the merrier! So if you are one to search your entire house for a lost piano book, this one's for you! Although, you must make sure everything has a designated place to be returned to (:
#4: RESOURCES. This is sort of an add on to Storage & Organization. It is helpful to have certain items at hand to help you succeed at learning an instrument. Such as a notebook, pencil/highlighter, book mark, flash cards, and a metronome!
So, if your piano room needs an update, I definitely recommend these 4 tips!
Once I did, I realized that I was putting a little too much on my plate. In other words, I was trying to squeeze in too many things that I wanted to do and I was exhausted after a few weeks of trying to keep up with it!
This way of thinking happens with younger children as well. The difference is they are just now learning the basics of how to form a solid, comfortable routine. They may have school, soccer practice, dance, karate, music lessons, and then to top it all off they want and NEED time to play and just be a kid! Because they can't wrap their brain around a set routine quite yet, you may see frustration and maybe, some tears. The good news is they have the helpful and loving parents to be there and help them through these times as best they can (:
The KEY FACTOR of each of these situations (whether you're an adult or child), is to remember they include the support from family, friends, teachers, anyone that may be of significant influence in their life.
If you have a child struggling to practice at home, keep reading for 5 helpful tips!
#1 TIME: This includes not only how much they are practicing a day, but how long they have been taking lessons. If your child has been taking lessons for two months, that's only 6-8 lessons. You may not see your child take initiative with practicing for as long as 6 months. This is partially because they are not 100% comfortable with their instrument and is still very new to them. In order to reach that comfortability, it is important to set a routine of practice every day for as little as 15 minutes or as long as 1 hour a day.
If they do this every day, you will begin to see progress! Keep in mind, that a little bit of parental guidance may be needed from time to time to ensure practice actually gets done. This leads us into TIP #2.
#2 Sit with your child while they practice even if it's for a small period of time! Having someone there while practicing can be fun and encouraging. This even works if you, as the parent, have never played an instrument before. It is very important in child development to show support and interest in every aspect of their lives!
#3 We suggest that each song should be played at least 3 times a day. But it is important to remember that they are not simply to be played from beginning to end 3 times each. Instead, circle the areas of the song they may be struggling with and practice what is circled before playing through the entire song again. You are more likely to continue struggling with a section if you continue to go back to the very beginning of a song each time you try and fix it.
#4 Don't be afraid to make it a challenge! Challenge them to memorize their song, to not look at their hands while they play, to play loud, soft, hands separate, hands together, anything that may help them play their songs more than once!
#5 Breaks! If your child is getting frustrated while practicing or nodding off, let them take what I like to call a 2 minute brain break. The important part is to ensure that they go back to practicing for a total of at least 15 minutes to maintain routine!
Stay tuned next week for a blog post on the types of brain breaks we recommend (:
Throughout the years, this has been one of the most frequently asked questions. At The Music Studio, we take pride in accepting students at the age of just 4 years old!
You may be wondering, "What is the success rate of a child who has just learned their alphabet and numbers 1-10?" The truth is that our rates are very high! It is true when they say children learn best from a young age. With music they aren't just learning how to play an instrument, they are developing their brain to be more efficient in critical thinking and hand-eye coordination. They learn self discipline, time management, routine, and other life skills that will improve what they do in and outside of their lessons.
All you must do is follow three simple steps!
#1 Create a positive environment for your child to practice in their own home.
#2 Develop a routine. Whether your child practices 10 minutes or as long as one hour a day, this is very important to follow!
#3 Keep a line of open communication with your child and their teacher(s). In other words, ask questions and keep the teacher updated on what practice is like at home.
So if you have been on the fence of enrolling your little one, don't be afraid to set up an appointment for a free trial lesson (link in bio) or a consultation/tour! (:
When we started this program, we knew the idea of independent and interactive learning would increase student knowledge of the music they were working on, but how to get there was a completely different question. With a few webinars, conferences, and a lot of team work we were able to convert 93% of our students into this "group" format and have seen these students excel like we never seen before!
So you ask the question, "Why Group Lessons?"
The best kind of learning comes from student-based teaching. In other words, when students are given the opportunity to work independently, it opens the door for them to expand on what they have already learned. Independent-based learning centers around the idea of critically challenging students to think "Outside the Bachs" (see what I did there?), forming their own questions and ideas for a better understanding.
With the right resources and the given chance to think critically, we find our students excelling at a faster rate and maintaining the focus to achieve their goals!
So if you're on the fence about signing your child up for group lessons, give it a shot! With our experience, you and your student will LOVE it! (: