Whatever you do during practice sessions will stay with you. That is why we have to be so mindful when we practice. My suggestions for how to have happy and productive practice sessions doesn't address a few very important things to consider when working with school age children.
1. Tired: Children need to be rested to be successful in any learning environment.
2. Hungry: Providing a small snack break after school might be the perfect way to regain energy and focus for practice.
3. Small: Most children are too small for the full-size piano. The benches included are created for adults. Students feel more in charge of their practice when they are sitting at an appropriate height and have a firm place to set their feet. An adjustable bench and foot stool would be great, but can also be expensive. I use a couple of different sized foot stools as well as two thick gardening pads for my students to sit on. At first they think it feels strange, but if also used at home, students easily become accustomed and comfortable. These little things can make a huge difference in developing a healthy playing posture and hand position in the future.
Karla Wakeen, owner/instructor Purple Keys Piano Studio in downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Karla Wakeen is a showcased La Crosse, WI music lesson instructor on TryMusicLessons.com!