Yes. Yes, it does. Do students sometimes look at you with disbelief or "slight" annoyance when you make a big deal about how to sit at the piano? I have discovered that a bit of playfulness and measurable evidence go a long way in convincing students to make the effort consistently. The younger students have great imaginations and respond to creative play. I found a few round stuffed animals (practice buddies) that fit nicely under the palm of the hand, creating a lovely curve to the hand and fingers. The students even remind me that we must never squeeze too hard or our practice buddy could get hurt. Another idea, for the younger students is to pretend that a tiny family lives under the hand. If the wrist and hand drop, the family gets squished! The older students respond the best to the evidence collected during model/listen opportunities, and self recording. When a student is requested to find the better sound, it seems easy for them to choose, especially if someone else is the performer. In addition, video and audio recording students while they play provides evidence or proof that the sound improves when correct hand position and use of arm weight occur. This is a great tool to use to help parents become more involved and supportive during "at home" practice sessions.
Summer will be gone before you know it! Now is the time to start working out your schedule for the school year. Music lessons, athletics, clubs and more fill up the days quickly. Earlier scheduling will more likely help you to have more choice. Here are a few things to help you get started....
Make a list of important family events.
Coordinate family and school district year calendars.
Plan any vacations you can ahead of time.
Make decisions regarding what activities your family will be involved in.
Include piano practice in the scheduling of activities.
Enjoy the rest of your summer knowing you are prepared!
Summer Piano lessons are about to begin! If all things work out as planned, lessons will begin the third week of June. I found a piano! A Schiller 48 H Hamburg with a beautiful warm sound is being delivered to the studio within a week. I am so excited to play it and get settled into my new studio space in the Lynne Tower, 318 Main Street, La Crosse, WI. See you soon!
Summer is a GREAT time to start a new instrument, or a special project with your favorite instrument. This time of year brings a new energy along with a different schedule for most families. Now you have time to focus on a piece you've always wanted to learn, or perhaps collaborate with other family members and musician friends. Time can get away from us in the summer if we are not careful. I encourage you to set a goal, and make a practice schedule that will easily work for you. Establishing a routine isn't always what we are looking for this time of year, but most of us function much better if we have a routine. Find a project, make a plan, and have a wonderfully productive summer!
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!