In about 2nd or 3rd grade I was SHOCKED to find out that not all kids  learned to play the piano.  It just seemed so "normal" at our house.  My mother taught piano, so my sisters and I would come home from school and tippie-toe through the living room where she taught to go to another place to play.  We would argue over who got to practice when.  "But I got there first..." was the phrase I remember.

Piano is the one instrument that will give the most back musically. That is a loaded statement, I realize.  And you only get back what you put in, but piano works magic in your brain when it comes to putting together two hands, melody with harmony and accompaniment, and beauty with music structure.  Integrating sight-reading and ear training capitalizes even more on these skills.


It has to be fun.  I have heard stories about kids who have quit music because they were bored or stressed and never wanted to take music lessons again.  How sad!  I believe the music drives the learning first -- it has to be fun and interesting enough that students want to go play their pieces.  In the ideal situation, they can hardly walk past a piano without stopping to play. Anyone who is sent home to only do scales and exercises is unlikely to maintain interest for very long.

Young children will need adult participation in practicing at home.  Telling a young child to "go practice your piano" is not likely to be effective.  Together we will discover what practice techniques will best help each student have fun, maintain interest, and build skills. 

© Kathy Brown 2013