Piano Lessons

Piano Lessons

Our eight-year-old son started taking piano lessons last year. He enjoys playing and is pleased with himself when he learns a new piece. However, when the pieces became harder, he wasn't putting in enough practice time, a common occurrence with eight year olds. 

Not wanting to get into unpleasant arguments about practicing, and unwilling to become nags about it, my husband and I designed special practice sheets for our son. The sheets include a space for every day of the week, from lesson to lesson, where we can put our initials. There is also a space for him to write the names of the pieces he is working on that week, and a space for him to sign his name as well. As stated on the sheet, he is required to practice 5 times during the 7 days between lessons, and to play each piece twice through every practice session. 

When he finishes practicing, one of us initials the day each time and when there are 5, he is finished for the week and he signs the sheet. We no longer argue about practicing because the schedule is under his control. He can see when he is getting behind and has experienced the difference in his playing when he makes all fives days and when he falls short. 

I think by putting him in control, he takes responsibility for his time more readily. He is becoming a pretty decent pianist, too!