As I have said more than once, it is difficult to describe the graduate piano pedagogy programs that were offered at The New School for Music Study because the curriculum was comprehensive in scope. At the end of my last blog, I pointed out that nothing was left unexamined, including the business of managing a successful piano studio. Even if you have been teaching for years, you may want to read this post to learn about what was emphasized and then compare your own approach to handling business dealings.
Before I go to sleep, I call my mother at her home out in Ohio. “Do you think,” she wonders, “those lessons you had years ago made any difference?” Those were lessons she probably couldn’t afford, and I practiced on a piano she hand to rent. You bet it made a difference, I tell her.
– Noah Adams
Supporting your Child’s Piano Lessons at Home
Behind every child musician is a group of cheerleaders at home, making sure that practicing is done, assignments are completed, and the student arrives on time for the weekly lessons with all of the music books! Now that my oldest son is five and beginning a practice routine, I am realizing even more how invaluable the daily help and support of parents is in developing a musician who loves and supports the arts for life.
Here are some suggestions for supporting your child at home:
British composer, Malcolm Arnold, once said, “Music is the social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is.” Singer-songwriter, Billy Joel, writes, “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” Everyone agrees that music has a special power that connects us all, transcending words. Two years ago, our students wrote about what music means to them. We received powerful accounts of the calming effect of music on students when they are stressed, feel alone, or just need to be comforted.
Never is this effect more evident than in the experience of live music. Music must be shared with others; it connects a community. In our modern age, we sometimes lose sight of the importance of live music concerts. For our young children, attending live music concerts is so very important.
Recently, I wrote this article for a local newspaper:
These days, there is much pressure for parents to begin their children in activities from an early age. We know that children tend to pick up new skills easily and we want for them to have an opportunity to become experts at these new skills. We also see curiosity, desire and eagerness to learn in our children and want to capitalize on that.
Music lessons are no exception. We often get calls asking the question, “When is the best time to enroll my child in piano lessons?” The answer to that is a tricky one, and varies for each child. The right age for one may not be the right age for another. Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are considering enrolling your child in music lessons: