Andrea Dow, co-founder of Teach Piano Today, wrote about something called a practice nest to convey the feeling of comfort and peace that should exude from a musical environment. A good practice nest can improve focus, motivation, and love for making music. Your child will want to practice piano. Here are six characteristics of a successful practice nest you can create today.
Pianos that are easily accessible are more likely to be played. Anytime a student has the urge to play, they can quickly walk to the piano before the inspiration disappears. Even seeing it more often may remind them to play.
Placing the piano close to the normal happenings of the house also reminds the student that they are not alone. This helps when it comes to performing in front of others because they have already “broken the ice.”
There must be a balance though. The practice nest cannot be in the action. Practically anything can distract a student, especially younger children. If the student feels she is in the action, she will not practice. The opposite is true as well. If the student feels she is far away from the action, she will feel detached and alone.
Free from distraction
Again, distraction is a huge problem with students. Obviously, loud noises from the next room can distract. However, even visual noise like clutter can distract a student. Ultimately, when the student is distracted, very little work can get done, and they won’t enjoy playing the piano because there is no progress. Give them the freedom to practice without their mind being in a million places.
Warm and welcoming
Good lighting can go a long way. Not only does good lighting help a student see notes clearly, but lighting lifts the general mood. It will keep them alert and ready to focus. Making a room welcoming with pictures or other items your child associates with good feelings can motivate them to practice. Also, having pencils, colored pencils, sticky notes, and other supplies will prevent students from leaving the room for a desperate 30-minute search for something to write with. They’ll get in the mood of music making and stay in it.
Place for family members to sit and listen
We frame finger paintings and brag about our children’s talents, but most of the time we don’t listen to appreciate the hard work it takes to play an instrument. Taking time to listen to your child play shows that their work is worth noticing. The student begins to feel they can share their successes or show off a piece they have finally figured out.
Read part one here to learn about the power of a Parent Practice Pal.
Continue with part three here.
Annah grew up in Minnesota, but now lives in Rexburg. She is a visual communication major at Brigham Young University - Idaho, and also works at Love Family Piano. She grew up helping her family with her piano playing skills by editing songs her mother had written and writing duets for her clarinet-playing brother so they could play together. While serving in the Utah Salt Lake City West LDS mission, she accompanied a mission choir under the direction of Marshall McDonald, along with accompanying solos and group numbers. Annah has also served as pianist and organist in her local congregation. She loves being able to mix her love for communication and piano. Visit her personal blog and see what else she is up to.