Student Savers: Ideas for When Your Child Wants to Quit
Let’s face it, every piano student has their ups and downs. As with anything worth doing, learning to play the piano can be downright difficult and it’s highly unlikely that your child will ALWAYS jump at the chance to get their practicing done. So what do you do when your child comes to you and asks to quit piano lessons? Before throwing in the towel, try a few of these ideas to help your child find their love of music again.
- First of all, involve your child’s piano teacher! Whether or not the teacher is aware that your child isn’t loving piano anymore, they will be able to suggest specific resources or options tailored to your child’s needs.
- Honestly assess the quality of your child’s recent practice. Forward progress is a huge motivator, so if your child isn’t practicing consistently, they may feel stuck. Attending lessons unprepared isn’t particularly fun either, even with an engaging and motivating teacher. Improving the quality of practice usually equals an increase in motivation – not just the other way around.
- With the teacher, try adjusting the level of some of your child’s assignments. If your child feels overwhelmed, he or she may need to move at a slower pace; if they’re bored, they may need more challenging music. Students may not always tell the teacher exactly how they’re feeling, so as a parent you can help facilitate that communication.
- Check for gaps in your child’s understanding. If there’s something significant that they aren’t getting, that might also cause frustration with practicing and piano lessons. The solution to that problem may be as simple as trying a different approach to the concept in lessons.
- Set practice goals – with rewards! Knowing that they’re working toward a special treat, family outing, or other reward can help give students that extra push and incentive to make a habit of practicing. Things like sticker charts or collecting beans in a jar for every day practiced can be a great visual reminder.
- Incorporate technology more! We use Piano Marvel in lessons and at home as a way to track student progress, structure practice time, and provide another level of positive reinforcement. If your child is feeling stuck, setting up Piano Marvel at home can be a fantastic way to re-energize their practicing. Lots of our students have told us that learning music is actually easier with technology.
- Introduce an exciting, motivating piece of music. This could be something from the radio, a movie soundtrack, or any other exciting-sounding piece. Bonus points if it sounds harder than it really is! Your child’s piano teacher will have some great suggestions here.
Last but not least, don’t give up! Music can be for everyone, and even the best concert musicians have times when they’re less motivated. Sticking it out through the rough patches is worth it!