Tight practise schedules create stress
Relaxed piano students do better, learn faster & often just ‘get’ things that other students struggle to achieve. The way practise slots are scheduled at home have a huge impact on how relaxed a student is at the piano and a very tight schedule can create stress, where none exists.
My years of working with parents has taught me that parents & students of all ages often just don’t realise this, and talking about it helps them understand, and make changes.
A few thoughts about scheduling practise
- 2 or 3 small practise slots are better than a single slot because students are more attentive after a break.
- Schedule longer slots than required. Students need time to relax between activities and may come to the piano late, then get so involved that they want to stay and play longer.
- Schedule an extra slot, so piano student have a choice when they’re not in the mood at the same time each day
- Creativity grows from having time and mental space, and piano students sometimes need to sit around, idle before and after practise time.
- Piano students need to explore their instrument on their own, outside of what is taught in class. It’s not wasting time, but rather, it’s a student using knowledge gained in piano class & piano practise, to explore his/her innate ability. It’s wonderful when this happens!
- On busy days, a little is better than nothing. Play, rather than practise, if there’s no time. Even a 2 minutes of a piece you enjoy.
- Don’t just schedule practise, make time to PLAY. Play your favourite pieces at the end of the day. Or play a line of music you like – just a minute in between some other activity. Play to relax, because that’s what learning the piano is about.