It's important because, no matter what we might think, we have much greater influence over our child and their likes and dislikes than we realize. If we display our dislike for brussel sprouts - we can be assured our child will as well. They pick up our lack of enthusiasm over something much easier than our enthusiasm... so if you are not enthusiastic about piano lessons and listening to them practice - they are going to pick up on that right away.
I often get parents who expect that all the initiative for learning piano or any instrument should come solely from the child with no input from the parent. It is entirely the teacher's responsibility to "inspire" - and a child who is inspired, they think, will be interested in practicing - no matter their age. This is only partly true - parents can inspire too. Learning an instrument is hard work, so your inspiration is crucial
So - what to do.
Be Interested. How? If you know nothing about music, how do you do that?
Besides providing a good instrument and getting them to lessons every week, there are lots of ways to encourage your child in the learning process.
Here is a list of practical things you can do - and you don't have to know a thing about music.
- Read their assignment book and know what has been assigned.
- Ask how the lesson went.
- Ask to hear each of the pieces assigned.
- Be nearby when practice is happening.
- Make positive comments such as:
- Hmmm... I like that piece - can you play it again?
- What is that one called?
- That sounded good! I think I recognize that one!
- Oh! that is going to be a favourite of mine!
- Can you play that again? I love hearing you play!
- You know I am so proud of how hard you are working - I know it's not always easy
- I'm always listening you know.... :)
- Wow - that is sounding better and better!
- you play that really fast! I wonder what it sounds like if you slow down a bit?
- I'm sorry you feel discouraged... would it help if I just sat with you?
- Here, we can use these (raisins, chocolate chips, m&m's etc) to help you keep track of the repetitions.....
- You are doing so well!
- I'm proud that you remembered to practice all on your own!