In this video, I share 8 of my top tips for motivating students to practice piano. It’s good practical advice that can be used by anyone.

Whether you’re learning piano with Musiah or elsewhere, whether you’re

  • a parent of a child learning piano,
  • a piano teacher looking for ways to motivate their students or even
  • an adult piano student seeking ways to help keep your own progress or track...

I encourage you to consider these tips, and hopefully some of them may be of use to you.

Below is a video transcript (for those who prefer to read).

Happy playing :)

Brendan Hogan L.Mus.A., A.Mus.A.
Piano Teacher & Musiah Inventor

Video Title: What Is The Best Way To Motivate Students To Practice Piano?­

Transcript:

Hello and welcome.

As a Piano Teacher &­ Musiah Inventor I’ve got lots of really useful ways to help motivate students of all ages to practice. And today, I’m going to share 8 of my top tips with you.

And then at the end, I’ve got a really important question to ask you.

Unsurprisingly, my first tip is…

Tip 1: Learn Piano With Musiah...

Because Musiah really does help to motivate students of all ages through;

  • Games which are used as teaching techniques in all of the lessons, as well as our
  • Special Games Area which contains Note Reading Games, Note Playing Games, Memory Training Games and Ear Training Games
  • Plus there’s an optional Story Mode in which students can choose to do the lessons as the central character in an adventure story set in the future
  • Plus there are loads of collectables – for example you collect stars as you compete each piece [which are used to unlock a performance challenge at the end of each level], you also collect items of knowledge that are stored in your treasure chest, and in story mode, students collect pieces of a special key called a clavitrisk and these pieces of the key are used to unlock The Lost Song at the end of the course
  • Plus as the world’s first A.I. piano teacher, Musiah offers a new form of supervised practice.

Outside of Musiah, some of the things you can do to motivate a student or your child to practice include...

Tip 2: Take An Interest In Their Lessons... for example by doing a few lessons yourself

This way you are demonstrating to your child:

  • That you value learning; and
  • That you are interested in what they are learning in their lessons
  • And doing this also gives you the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the habit of discipline and regular practice
  • And you can even create a healthy bit of competition between you and your child.
  • Plus, by doing the lessons yourself, you will definitely have the skills and knowledge to help your child when they reach an occasional difficulty in their piano learning.

Tip 3: Short Practice Sessions

Children will be much happier working through short practice sessions in the morning and / or the afternoon rather than one long session in the evening when they’re tired.

Plus, if they’re only required to do say 10 mins a day 5 days a week, what you’ll find is once they sit down at the piano or keyboard, they’ll often continue for longer.

Tip 4: Practice Piano At The Same Time(s) Each Day

Practice becomes a habit when you establish a routine. And this is far better than chopping and changing to different times on different days.

Tip 5: Putting Your child In Control

How do we do this?

A really simple way is to sit down with your child and draw up a plan for the week.

Then discuss with your child what do we need to allocate time for each and every day... for example, piano practice.

Let’s say we’re going to do 20 minutes a day... When are we going to do it? How are we going to fit it in?

Obviously we have to allow time for homework, meals, perhaps other activities…

And so, if you sit down and work on the creation of the plan with your child, invite their input in terms of when do they think it would be a good time of the day to do their practice.

Gor example, maybe 10 minutes in the morning before breakfast and then another 10 minutes in the afternoon when they first come home from school, or whatever works for you…

But the thing is, by involving your child in the discussion, you give them a sense of ownership over their own practice schedule. 

Tip 6: Set Small Goals And Challenges For The Week

For example, at the beginning of the week, sit down with your child and ask them what they think would be a realistic target to aim to achieve by the end of the week.

And of course, you would share your input with the child as to what you think is a realistic goal.

And basically, you need to form a sort of agreement, if you like, with your child as to what they’re going to aim to achieve by the end of the week.

And this will give them something to work towards which helps to keep them on track and motivated.

Tip 7: Create A Piano Practice Chart

As an example, let's say 10 minutes is the minimum that your child is required to practice piano each day, 5 days a week…

If the child does 15 minutes or more they get a gold star on their practice chart.

And once they've collected 25 stars they get a reward which might be, for example, going to the movies.

The exact reward is up to you, or how many stars they have to earn to get the reward — that can call be tailored to suit you. This is just an example.

Tip 8: Plan Performances And / Or Encourage Your Child To Play Piano For You Regularly

Every so often, ask them to prepare a small recital for you — perhaps a program of two or three piano pieces.

You can do this any time that you feel is right, for example, set them this task at the beginning of a week and tell them that the recital is going to take place on Friday evening, perhaps when you have visitors coming over.

Playing for visitors is a perfect reason to hold a mini piano recital.

Summary and Conclusion

So these are my top 8 tips to help motivate students to practice:

Tip 1: Learn Piano With Musiah

Tip 2: Take an interest in their lessons

Tip 3: Short Practice Sessions

Tip 4: Practice Piano At The Same Time(s) Each Day

Tip 5: Put your child in control of their own practice schedule

Tip 6: Set small goals and challenges, for example, each week

Tip 7: Create A Piano Practice Chart, and lastly…

Tip 8: Plan Performances And Encourage your child to play piano for you regularly

Which brings me to my question for you…

In your experience — what is the best, most effective way to encourage and motivate students to Practice Piano?

The student can be yourself, a child or even your own piano student if you’re a teacher... What I want to know is what works best for you.

So please do share your thoughts with us by way of a comment.

Thanks for watching [or reading]. See you next time.

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