Showing posts from January, 2020

Healthy Home Practice Environment Part 4: Encouragement

Today is the last week of our series all about setting up a Healthy Home Practice Environment, and I've saved a really important one. We're talking about encouragement. Piano kids work hard when they practice, and showing them that we recognize the work they are putting, and are proud of them for it, in is really important in inspiring them to keep it up.  One of the tricks about giving encouragement and feedback is to make sure that it is authentic. If your child played through a piece and it sounded like a train wreck, we don't want to say "that sounded really great!" because they have ears too and they know whether or not it did in fact sound great. If they get used to us using vague generalizations to protect their feelings, they won't be as ready to listen when we really have something valuable to say. At the same time, I know that non-musical parents may not always know exactly what to say to support their children during practice. So, today, I'm

Healthy Home Practice Environment Part 3: Learning Tools

Welcome back for part 3 of our series on setting up a Healthy Home Practice Environment! Last week we talked about some things to consider in making our home practice space more ergonomic for ease of use , and to support healthy technique. Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite home practice tools, or piano accessories if you will, that can help us achieve that. Here are my 5 favorite tools to enrich your piano practice space: 1. If your piano space could use some more light, try a piano lamp .  2. If your piano kid likes mechanical things, how about a metronome ? You can always download an app to a smart device, but having the real thing can be more fun and eliminate the distraction of a screen during practice time. 3. A footstool & something on the seat to boost their height (a folded blanket is my favorite quick fix) is good to have available for all practices.  If you have a little who is using the pedals and want to invest in something a bit more piano

Healthy Home Practice Environment Part 2: Ergonomics

Welcome Back for part two of our Healthy Home Practice Environment Series, and if you missed the first post about choosing where to put the piano you can read it here . I've titled this second part 'Ergonomics' for lack of a better term, because today we'll be talking about ways to make the space as functional, and as supportive for good technic and ease of movement, as possible.  I've talked on the blog before about how important technique is to keeping your piano kids hands, wrists and even shoulders healthy as they (hopefully!) spend more and more time at the instrument. And there are some simple things to do in your home set up that can encourage this.  Here are 4 quick things to take into account to support healthy technique.  Leave plenty of space behind the piano bench. One of the biggest factors in poor technique are when students are sitting too close to the piano. If you have another piece of furniture (like a table etc) right behind the piano b

Healthy Home Practice Environment Part 1: Location

Happy New Year everyone! We're jumping into the new year with a blog series about helping set up a Healthy Home Practice Environment that will encourage piano students to visit the piano often during the coming year.  Today our discussion is all about location. Where your instrument is located in the house can actually have a huge effect on your student's consistency in practicing. In creating a pleasant space to practice, you will show your child your family values music, and that can only help in instilling a sense of musicianship within themselves. Here are 5 key things to think about when choosing where to put the piano: 1. For those with digital pianos, your piano should have a permanent location.  An instrument that has to be stowed away under a bed or leaned against a wall between practice sessions is simply not going to get practiced enough. Show your child that music is worth investing in by creating a permanent space for them to build their musicianship skil