Are you looking for ways to make practice fun and more effective?
Why not try some of these suggestions made by our own ESPS members?
Divide your practice sheet into different spaces. Every time you practice, you colour in the spaces. When you fill all the spaces, you get a treat.
Remember to listen to the music every day.
We like to take body breaks when sitting still gets too hard.
We have Popsicle sticks for practice points, but also for activities that get us off the piano bench for a minute, like doing some jumping jacks, or giving someone a hug.
I like to play the penny game with my mom. If I practice accurately, I win a penny. I also earn pennies when I am a good listener. If I have enough pennies at the end, I win!
Record your child playing a song with your ipad and then watch it back. Let your child notice his/her successes and areas to improve.
We hide cards with songs on them around the room, and then we play hot and cold as our daughter tries to find one. When she has found one, we work on that song and the things she needs to practice. Then, she finds another card and we start again.
Always have someone sitting beside you. It feels better to practice with someone else.
Play “Air Piano” – play the notes in the air while you are listening to your CD.
I like it when I get to play a song as fast as I can.
Put a kush ball on the piano. Say “go” and both the student and parent both reach for the kush ball, BUT you must keep your back tall and strong.
Our son is older, and he takes his own notes at lesson time, and then creates his own practice schedule each week. He has a strong sense of ownership over the process and takes pride in reaching his own goals each week.
We love to play for our family and friends. We perform a concert for our family using skype, and they watch from afar and cheer our kids on!
Sometimes it is good to practice by yourself, with no one watching, no disturbances, just you and the piano.
Use marbles, beads or Lego to help count how many times you have practiced something.
I like to pick a card from a pile and the card tells me what I need to practice next.
Sometimes on our way to dance or swimming, we listen to the CD and sing along with silly words to each song.
I like it when I get to play a song with my eyes closed.
Record on a calendar how many points you get every day. The points come from how nicely you play or when you accomplish one of your goals. Then, when you have enough points, you earn a special treat.
To get ready for a recital, we practice driving to the concert on our chairs. Then we go to the piano, bow to the audience, and play the song. The audience applauds! Then we go home, sleep again and wake up to do it all over again!
I have a cup with all the piano songs on Popsicle sticks. I get to pick sticks to see which songs I will work on that day.
It is fun to find different ways to play a piece – fast slow, staccato, etc.
Practice when your child is energetic and ready to play.
For young kids, it works wonders to practice in short intervals and over the whole day.
On the weekend, to celebrate a week of good practices, we sometimes have a pretend reception after our “recital”.
We roll the die across the room. After we have discovered the number, we race back to the piano to practice the song number from the die.
I like to start off each practice by playing my favourite song first.
If you have a friend or a sibling who also plays piano, you can practice together and help each other out.
It helps to play the difficult passages hands separate first, to warm up for playing hands together.