I’m sure you have all heard that phrase before. Piano practice is very important if you want to make any progress at all. I would venture to say that practice is one of the single most important things you can do to become a better pianist.
If you are the parent of a budding pianist, practice should become an essential part of your day. You can schedule it just as you do homework and other things throughout your day. I have several parents that have their child practice after they finish their homework on the weekdays. My studio policy for children under 6th grade is to set aside a practice day 5 days a week. You can take 2 days off, but you must practice on at least 5 of the 7 days. I have a practice log for the children to fill in with tally marks. They must practice each song 5 times each day. So at the end of the week, they should have 25 tally marks.
As the student gets older, it is harder to gauge how much practice each song should get. A good rule of thumb for older students is 30-45 minutes of practice a day, with two days off. This way, the student can decide which song needs more practice and which songs they can master easily. Of course, if you haven’t mastered a song, then you probably need more practice. 🙂
I also find that children need to be taught how to practice. It isn’t good enough to play a song 5 times each day if you are making the same mistake over and over again. Children should start by playing each hand separately and making sure you are confident to play that hand by itself. Then they play both hands together. When they find a difficult spot, have them take a moment to circle that spot with a pencil. Then they can practice that spot only until they can play it with no mistakes. There are many more nuances to music and different things will need to be practiced each time they play a piece. Fingering, dynamics and tempo are only a few of the things to remember as a child works on a song.
In order for a student to make progress, practice must be an integral part of their day. A teacher can teach all they know, but until what is taught is put it into action, it is nothing. Don’t expect to be able to play Beethoven if you don’t practice. It would be nice if we could just sit at the piano and play whatever we want, but unfortunately, that isn’t how it works. If it is valuable to you, then you will want to put the time in to learn that which you value. And the way you do that is by practicing. 🙂
Maybe that is a bit premature, with the weather we are having, but piano has begun. You can still register, if you haven’t already done so–I have about 15 time slots remaining. I’m looking at doing some different things this year–adding the blog is one of them. I’ve already been searching through Christmas music–it makes me happy–and have found some terrific songs we can do for the recital. Each week, I am going to try to post something on this blog, so check back and find out what is going on.
It has been a great week! Remember, there are no lessons on Monday, Sept 6th, due to the Labor Day holiday, but we will be back on track next week. All other lessons will be on as scheduled. Have a wonderful weekend!
I am in the process of finishing my schedule for the fall. It should be available next week. There will be afternoon and evening lessons available and several days of the week to choose from. There will be two recitals–a Christmas recital in December and a spring recital in May. I am also hoping to take part in the Levels of Progress that the Tidewater Music teachers put on every year.
The tuition will remain the same as last year, with discounts for families and people that plan to pay up front for the entire year.
Look for more information coming soon! I can’t wait to start!
I wanted to remind you that the recital is next Friday, December 11th. I am asking everyone to be there by 6:30–I am editing the time a little bit, because I want to make sure we have enough time for everyone. 🙂 The recital itself will begin at 6:45. The last time we had a recital at Jordan Kitt’s, traffic was an issue, so make sure you leave enough time in your travel for traffic.
We will have a small ensemble of singers perform at the beginning of the recital, and then have a brief intermission before the piano playing commences. 🙂
Hopefully your child is as excited as I am to begin lessons again.
We are planning a Christmas recital again this year, and I will let you know as soon as I can the specifics on this. We will also try to get involved in the Levels of Progress as offered by the Tidewater Music Teacher’s association. This is a non-competitive contest where the students will get to play their piece for a different piano teacher and that teacher will give them tips, suggestions and a score. I haven’t decided on the spring recital yet, but you will know well in advance if we plan one.
Lessons will be on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Lesson times are on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you want a particular time slot, be sure to call me as soon as possible. I will do my best to accommodate your preferences. Please also have the registration sheet ready to give to me for the first lesson, if not before.
Please make sure you are familiar with all of my studio policies.
If you do not have a full sized keyboard—at least 66 keys with a pedal, now would be a good time to consider making an investment into such an item. As your child progresses, it won’t always be possible for them to practice all the nuances of the piece without the proper equipment. Another necessary item is a metronome. These can be purchased online or at Music and Arts in Greenbrier. The other supplies are listed in the policy letter.
I am looking forward to seeing you again this year! Please have your child bring the last book they were in before summer break so we can review, if necessary. I will purchase new books (if necessary) after I assess their level. (Some students will need to have more review than others, especially if they didn’t practice over the summer.)
You can call me at 549-9103 or email me as I check my mail once a day.
Mrs. Julie Rohr
1008 Chalbourne Drive
Chesapeake, VA 23322