Helping Your Child Succeed at the Piano: Part 4

Today’s blog is about making progress in practice and in lessons. Every student progresses at a different rate and it is my job make the connection between assignments and how much the student is practicing.

Progress and Goals:
My goal is for students to learn and understand their music completely and in a timely manner. What is a timely manner? This is different for each student based on their ability. I try not to assign more than what I feel a student can accomplish in their set goal of practice time. This may mean that some pieces are intended to take more than one week and that is completely fine. As long as steady progress in being made I consider the student as being successful in their progess.

We all have good and bad weeks and up and down lessons. What I keep a look out for is if there is a major disconnect between practice time recorded and progresses being made. If a student has begun a new level or idea and is slower to grasp it, that is apparent to the teacher and adjustments can be made. If a student is going through a lull in wanting to practice and adjustments need to be made to how much is assigned that can be done. If a student and parent confirm the amount of practice and there is still a disconnect with the material being learned, then we need to evaluate how the student is practicing. In this case, usually the student is just making endless repetitions of a piece, but not focusing on the challenging aspects of the music and we need to review how to practice and to go over the topics listed above.

As a teacher, I want all my students to be successful at their own level. Students often feel discourage when pieces must be repeated week after week. They feel that they aren’t making any progress. By practicing smarter at home and asking the right questions, everyone should see a gradual increase in skills. As always I am happy to try and help in between lessons via email.

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