When piano parents sign their children up for lessons, they often do so with many preconceived notions about what the musical experience involves. Even if parents did not take piano lessons as children, they likely knew someone who did.
It is for this reason that the words “practice the piano” conjures up images of children sitting alone on a piano bench, dutifully playing scales over and over again until the “ding” of an oven timer signals freedom.
Teachers know that piano lessons and piano practice have evolved considerably in the past few decades and it’s important to pass on this knowledge to the parents of your piano students.
When parents sign their preschoolers up for piano lessons, it’s a good idea to pass on helpful tips for home practice so families know what to expect from this age group. So, we have composed an email template to help you accomplish this task!
The information below can be modified to suit your individual piano studio and can be sent after a preschooler’s first piano lesson.
The letter begins below the image:
Dear Crystal and Mark,
I really enjoyed Kayla’s first lesson! She was very enthusiastic about getting her new book and quickly picked up on the Lesson 1 concepts!
I thought it might be helpful to pass along some information about home piano practice so you know how you can support Kayla’s learning. As always, if you have any questions at all, please ask!
Home Practice Information For WunderKeys Piano for Preschoolers
The WunderKeys books are presented in a predictable sequence that makes it easy to practice with your child at home: simply read aloud the pages from the week’s unit of study, follow the directions as described and have fun!
WunderKeys books also include cut-and-play piano games that require coins and a die. The game instructions can be found on the back of each game board. Play the games (both past games and the game that corresponds with the current week’s unit) with your child frequently to review important concepts in an enjoyable way.
When your child starts piano lessons it is necessary to establish a predictable routine for home practice. Spending home time at the piano directly impacts your child’s progress. However, it’s not about “minutes spent on the bench” but rather how those minutes are used.
Here are some helpful tips for helping Kayla at home:
- Leave her WunderKeys book open on the piano. Kayla will be more likely to spend time at the piano if her materials are always visible. At this age, solo exploration (looking through the book on her own, engaging with the pictures, making up her own songs, etc.) are all beneficial activities.
- Find a predictable time of day when you can sit with Kayla and assist her with practice. Preschool-aged children cannot complete effective piano practice alone, so she will need your guidance. Spending short amounts of time at the piano daily is much more beneficial than spending one long session at the piano once or twice a week.
- Help Kayla develop a sense of ownership over piano lessons by having her demonstrate what she learned in lessons and then allowing her to be “the teacher”. If lessons are “her thing” she’s more likely to gravitate to the piano on her own accord.
- Remember, at this age, exploration and enjoyment are more important than accuracy and perfection. Piano practice at home should be a happy “bonding on the bench” experience. While it is beneficial to return to previously-completed lessons, please note that working ahead in the book during the week can result in educational gaps that become problematic in the future. We may often spend more than one week on some units, but I will always let you know what you can work on at home.
- Continue her learning away from the piano. Preschool piano lessons build a foundation of knowledge and understanding upon which all further musical learning takes place. Relate the concepts she’s learning in her books to “real world” scenarios. For example, while folding laundry, have her create a pattern out of socks or, while outside, talk about the low and high sounds she can hear.
- If you do not play piano yourself, you can still practice the teacher/student duets with Kayla. Simply chant the lyrics to assist her in knowing when it is her turn to play, help her to find her hand position on the black key groups and practice her part of the duet.
- Engage in activities at home that build coordination, finger strength, and fine motor skills – play with play dough, practice cutting paper with scissors, work on correct pencil grip, use tongs or tweezers to pick up objects, etc.
I really look forward to working with your family. Kayla is a delight and I know we’ll have a lovely time together.
Is Your WunderKeys Library Ready To Roll?
The start of fall piano lessons is just around the corner for many piano teachers. As a WunderKeys Teacher, you likely have many new students joining your piano studio.
And remember… the release of WunderKeys Elementary Piano Level 1B is just around the corner!