What Parents Should Know About Piano Practice

We are often approached by our piano parents, wanting to know how to make practice “work” at home. Too many times, students discontinue lessons because home practice isn’t going smoothly.

Piano practice can be a mystery to parents who have never themselves played an instrument – and even if they have, it’s likely they quit too early, and regret doing so. In our opinion, our students’  success boils down to solid home practice habits.

Soccer practice? Pretty straight-forward… drop your children off at the field, cheer from the sidelines and when a great pass is made or a goal is scored, it’s obvious that they’re doing well. Dance practice? Again… drop your children off at the studio, peek through the viewing window and if they’re in sync with the rest of the class, it’s obvious that they’re probably doing well.

But piano practice? Well that’s a different beast all together! Piano practice drop-off just doesn’t exist. Read on for seven things parents should know about piano practice.


Piano Parent Information

1. Your children will need help – Up until about age 11, children need hands-on help with home practice. And even though you yourself may not read music or play the piano, your assistance is still very much needed! Parental help can take the form of reading lesson notes, organizing practice time wisely, providing encouragement through difficult sections or situations, and seeking out answers for “I’m stuck on this” problems. Asking a young child to be in charge of something as important as piano practice is often asking too much. Your help at home will make a substantial difference in your children’s progress.

2. Your children need you to establish a routine – Piano practice that happens every single day is by far the most effective practice structure. 30 minutes three times a week is just 90 minutes. 20 minutes seven days a week is 140 minutes. The total difference is 43 hours of missed practice per year if your children are only at the piano three times a week!

Short, focused and regular visits to the piano help your children retain and understand what they are learning while making the most of generally short attention spans. If practice is enjoyable, rather than arduous, your children will naturally (and unknowingly!) increase the time they spend on the bench.

Setting a regular time of day when piano practice happens “no matter what” will ensure a daily practice routine is easy for your children to maintain.

3. Your children needs lots of encouragement – Learning to play the piano can be difficult; it can be discouraging… it can feel overwhelming. Your children (no matter what their age) need loads of encouragement.

And not just verbal encouragement. You can show your children that you value their efforts by attending their recitals with enthusiasm, inviting friends and family to listen to your them play, and taking the time to sit and listen to them practice with your undivided attention.

4. Your children need a home instrument that is enjoyable to play – Much of the pleasure from playing the piano comes from one’s ability to emote feeling, nuance and expression through music. Even young beginners will experience great satisfaction from making beautiful sounds…. so choose an instrument that gives them the best opportunity to make beautiful sounds. Guidance from your children’s teacher will help you find an affordable piano (don’t worry, there are many great and affordable options) that will give your children the tool they need to truly experience piano lessons. An investment in a good instrument protects the investment you are making in your children’s musical education.

5. Your children need a positive practice environment – Aside from providing encouragement, your children need you to create a positive practice atmosphere. Help your children avoid “cramming” the day before lessons. Stick to your daily routine to avoid weeks of forgotten practice (which lead to feelings of inadequacy on the part of your children). Music is joyful… and so practicing music should be as well. This is, fortunately, something that you are able to create easily with a commitment to regular practice.

6. Your children need you to communicate with their teacher – Working as a parent/child/teacher triangle is the optimal way to ensure progress and success in piano lessons. Be sure to communicate often with your children’s piano teacher. Check in on how lessons are progressing, ask for help if something is difficult for your children at home, let your teacher know when practice weeks have gone extremely well (or not so well). Working as a team means your children are supported equally on all sides at all times.


Learning to play music is a life-changing experience. And, as a parent, the process is a thrill to watch. Being a major part of this accomplishment is incredibly rewarding! The profound pleasure of being a “piano parent” far outweighs the required extra efforts; and this is, by far, the most important thing that piano teachers want parents to know about piano practice.

Many thanks to TeachPianoToday for this content!

My.Kindermusik.com Button for Faster Access to the Fun

We know our families are enjoying the digital at home materials. Now, there’s a way to get to those digital materials more efficiently than ever before. In just 4 simple steps, you can be 1 tap away from accessing all the wonderful educational activities and parenting resources within Kindermusik@Home.

From your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Computer

Step 1
Open Safari browser, login to My.Kindermusik.com, and tap the “Share” icon.

Step 2
Tap “Add to Home Screen.”

Step 3
Type the description for the icon (MyKinder…) and tap the “Add” button.

Step 4
Icon for My.Kindermusik.com is now added to your home screen.  (Note:  if your home screen is full, swipe finger to the left to get to next screen.)

You can add a shortcut to the full-site, or the mobile site (m.my.kindermusik.com – icon with house)

Many smartphones and tablets have this functionality. The iPhone example can be a guide for other devices. Look for the “Share” feature when visiting a website to save the icon to your home screen as a shortcut.  For additional information, visit Kindermusik’s blog. Now, that was easy!


Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Kindermusik International has a new neighbor. The Fred Rogers Center has launched a new website called Ele (which stands for Early Learning Environment). They’ve asked KI to partner with them as they continue to provide appropriate, child-centered technology opportunities for children and their families.

Ele is like a library and a playroom where parents and early childhood educators can find online and mobile educational activities for young children. Ele focuses on using technology in age-appropriate ways to improve the language and early literacy skills of young children. What a perfect partnership!

Access to the resources is free and there is no cost to join the Ele community. You’ll have instant access to quality content and can join in discussions about early childhood education and digital learning.

As a reminder, when KI made the decision to provide digital learning materials, careful thought and consideration was given to ensure age-appropriate experiences in technology. In fact, Kindermusik drafted our official screentime position using the guidelines crafted by NAEYC and the Fred Rogers Center.

Kindermusik’s Official Position on Screentime

Kindermusik International knows and respects that each family gets to decide what’s best for them when it comes to the issue of screen time or the use of technology and young children.  In creating our new digital tools and parenting resources, Kindermusik has read about and researched this topic thoroughly.  We have aligned our stance with that of the highly respected NAEYC and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning, recognizing that children can benefit from a responsible and age-appropriate use of technology in combination with hands-on experiences and in partnership with an actively involved caregiver.  We are proud to bring these high-quality educational materials to your family in hopes we can truly embody the very best of both worlds- a responsible introduction to technology AND lots of hands-on, movement-rich, in-your-lap, down-on-the-floor learning.

So, take some time and say, “Hi, Neighbor!” to Ele. You’ll find you’re right at home with access to several of our Kindermusik At-Home Materials.  Let us know what else you find while looking around.

Snow-ly Moly: It’s another snow day

Due to the snowy weather, our studio will be closed again tomorrow (Wednesday, February 5th). We hope that you are staying safe and warm inside during this snowstorm. Are you beginning to experience cabin fever? We searched the internet and compiled a list of some great suggestions to beat that cooped up feeling and have some fun.

101 Things to Do on a Snow Day: The Happy Housewife website has compiled an amazing list of books to read (check online sources for books so you don’t have go go out: iBooks, Storia by Scholastic, Amazon.com), printables, and crafts.  We especially love the suggestions for making your own mini golf course,  the recipe for snow ice cream, and movies to watch with your family.

Grand Rapids Kids: Who better than the good people of Grand Rapids Kids (Our northern neighbors know snow!) to fill your snow day with fun? Remember building a fort with pillows, couch cushions, and blankets?  The way that pancakes taste extra delicious for dinner (brinner?) on a snow day? We also love their suggestion for painter’s tape lazer mazes.

Shadow Puppets: Turn off the lights and use this handy website to teach your kiddos how to create 15 different animals.

Printables: We can’t wait to print and use the snow day mad libs from Penny Pinchin’ Mom.  With writing prompts and coloring pages, there’s something for children of all ages.  Best of all, they are all FREE.

10 Snow Day Recipes: The beauty of baking/cooking on a snow day is that it keeps the kids busy as they help prepare the food, the oven warms your kitchen, and you get to enjoy delicious snow day food. We like the suggestions from Huffington Post contributor Jennifer Segal.

Winter Olympics: The opening ceremonies may be a few days away, but snow days are the perfect time to get everyone moving with some Olympic inspired activities. DLTK Kids has a wide variety of crafts and coloring pages, Makes and Takes provides activity and snack suggestions to get you in the Olympic spirit.

Missing your weekly Kindermusik class? Don’t forget your Kindermusik digital home materials are always available right in your home.

Stay Connected with InJoy Music

Missing our posts? You’re not the only one. It seems only about 10% of the people connected to our studio on Facebook see our posts on any given day.  We post frequently, sharing studio news, vacation/studio closing information, fun pics and videos from class, and more! However, Facebook reveals to us that on any given post – only a handful of you see our pictures and updates in your newsfeed.  To see if you have missed any, you may want to check out page (BUT COME BACK — THERE IS MORE TO READ)- https://www.facebook.com/injoymusicllc.

For those of you who want to be sure to see these posts every time – you need to keep their algorithm in mind – this is what controls whether our update appears to you.  The more love you show our page, the more Facebook thinks you want to see our page.   It is based on your frequency of interaction with our updates. The more you click on a post/site/link the more likely you will see the next post.

To increase the frequency you see our posts you should:

  • Like on every post from our studio when you see them.
  • Comment on the posts when you see them.
  • From a desktop computer, looking at one of our posts click the gray “down arrow” in the upper right hand corner (of the post). It will pull down a list. At the top of the list is Get Notifications. Click on that.  This will make sure you don’t miss any of our posts. 

If you are not on Facebook, you can still see all of our updates by visiting the page directly, http://www.facebook.com/injoymusicllc.

We want to make sure we make it easy for you to stay connected to the studio during the week, we hope this helps you remain an active part of our online InJoy community.