At the moment, I am teaching 3 of my children to play the piano. As I am both mother and teacher, I get to supervise their practise from the kitchen sink. I try not to interfere too often, but sometimes I make a suggestion. Here are a few ideas that may help you or your children have effective piano practise:
1. Practise slowly. Only play as fast as you can play the difficult parts. This may seem boring at first, but it will pay off in the end.
2. Clap the rhythm while counting the beats to each bar/measure.This helps you to focus on the rhythm without being distracted by the notes. If you find this gets boring after a while, change it up and tap your nose with your finger, tap your toes on the ground, or create your own way to count out the rhythm.
3. Use flashcards or games to help learn the notes by sight.My children currently spend 1/3 of their practise time (10/30 minutes) playing one of two different games. I encourage this so they will memorise the notes instead of having to count them out or ask me. At the moment we use Music Trainerand Grand Staff Demo.
4. Play the song while the keyboard is turned off, or play the notes without pushing the keys down. You can even pretend to play on a table or on the lid of the piano. This trains your senses such as sight and touch to focus on the written notes instead of depending too much on your ear.
5. Slowly drill (play over and over) the difficult bars/measures.Practise each hand alone if that helps. Please don’t play wrong notes over and over unless you really want to memorise the wrong notes! It takes longer to correct wrong notes than it does to learn them slowly first. Eventually these passages will speed up on their own.
I hope these tips help your child on their way to effective piano practise. This way they can progress quickly to more challenging music! Yay! I’d love to hear your practice tips in the comment section below. Thank you for sharing these, and happy practising!