Ready To Start Your Child On Piano Lessons This Fall? Do These 5 Things First

Ready To Start Your Child On Piano Lessons This Fall? Do These 5 Things First

Guiding kids in the right direction is a hands-on task. Every year you help them choose classes and sign up for activities that’ll make a difference in their lives. You hope to give them the skills that will make them happy, successful adults. 

Maybe that’s why you’re leaning towards piano lessons for your child. If you’ve done any research, you know it’s a skill that’ll make a difference in their lives from this point forward. It’s the one activity they can continue pursuing until they are 100 years old. 

You’ve made the decision. You’re ready to start your child on piano lessons. What should you do before they walk into the first lesson?

Buy a quality piano

Make sure it’s a quality piano, as you can find so many different options on today’s marketplace. A quality piano should have good tonal quality, be tuned, and provide your child with advancement as they improve. This isn’t something they’ll be able to do on a little toy piano. Acoustic pianos are wonderful options, and they come in a range of sizes and prices. If you want digital, that’s an option too. 

Get an adjustable piano stool

Depending on the age of your child, they will grow quickly. An adjustable piano stool gives them the option of changing the settings as they grow. It’s important to remain comfortable while sitting at the piano to avoid strain and injury while playing. 

Bring piano music into your lives

Depending on your child’s age, they might not realize how the piano is incorporated into today’s music. Let them listen to piano music in a variety of genres. Consider taking them to a concert so they can see the piano in action. Watch YouTube videos from their favorite music, showing them how their idols play the piano too. This sets them up for a desire for learning. 

Set clear expectations

Before they start their first lesson, talk about the experience. Tell them what they’ll face working with a teacher, and expectations at home during the week. Listen to their ideas, and use that to build up a practice routine. Would they prefer before school or after? Length of time doesn’t constitute good practice. Regular practice is better with clearly defined goals for each session. 

Commit to the routine yourself

Kids won’t commit if they don’t feel it from their parents. Set aside the time to ensure your child becomes successful at playing the piano. You can use the time they practice to do something for yourself. This gives you free time too. Or use the time to sit down and listen on occasion. It can be a great way to bond with your child. 

What’s The Best Age To Start Piano Lessons

What’s The Best Age To Start Piano Lessons

When you have small children in the house, you’re constantly looking for ways to peak their creativity. You introduce art, keep them active, and share great music. 

To keep their artistic talents budding, it’s only natural to put them in classes to express themselves freely. Sign them art for painting? Of course. How about piano lessons? Sure, it’s a great way to introduce them to music. 

But when is the perfect time to start? What’s the best age for piano lessons? Is there such a thing as too soon? 

Learning something new as a child can have a dramatic impact on their lives. They may fall in love with it and turn it into a career. Or they may just find something they love that will be impactful throughout their lives. Either way, it’s up to you to introduce different activities in the right way. 

When a child is ready for piano lessons

While there isn’t an age too young for music, there is an appropriate time for starting piano lessons. It has more to do with the structure of their hands than what they’re capable of learning and retaining. 

Piano lesson readiness varies, and isn’t necessarily dependent on age. Instead, you should look for:

Hand size – to play the piano, you need to stretch your fingers comfortably on the keys to be able to touch five white keys next to each other. 

Dexterity – each finger will have to move independently of one another. 

Interest in playing the piano – if a child wants nothing to do with sitting and playing, there’s little you can do to motivate them. They need a desire to create music to ensure they stick with piano lessons. 

If you do a search on finding the best age to introduce piano lessons to your child, you’ll find advice ranging from age 2 to 7. Because children progress at different speeds and have interests in different subject matters, timing depends on when they’re ready cognitively and functionally. 

Once they reach that point, it’s up to you to pique their interests and find the right teachers to help keep them committed to creating music for years to come. 

It’s Time To Start Planning Your Fall Piano Lessons

It’s Time To Start Planning Your Fall Piano Lessons

Have you noticed the leaves turning colors? The morning air is just a bit cooler. And pumpkins suddenly are popping up everywhere. 

It’s a time of year many of us love. It’s also a time for you to change up your routine and start planning fall piano lessons to keep your students motivated and happy. 

Pumpkins everywhere

If you’ve decorated your home for fall, why not bring it into your piano studio as well? Nothing brings out the festivities like fall leaves, black cats, and an array of pumpkins. Since your students might not be trick-or-treating your studio, why not offer them treats all month long. Fill a festive bowl or jack-o-lantern with different activities for warming up, and have them pick one at the beginning of each lesson. You can even provide treats at the end, depending on how well they perform. 

Bring out their creativity

Many students love to create their own music. Why not give them a challenge of creating songs perfect for the fall. You can give them a theme – leaves, Halloween, football – and have them create music to fit their message. Be sure they add words to their songs. 

Provide special music

While most of us provide books to work through as a student advances in ability, changing it up with seasonal music can keep them interested. Find things that interest them, and give them special challenges throughout the month. You may even wish to hold small recitals for students to show off their new songs. 

Bring your students together

How about a duet? Or a small group to practice something new? While group lessons might not be feasible all throughout the year, they may add depth to your students’ lessons by bringing them together for special occasions. This can be a perfect way to keep them challenged and allow them to meet other students at their levels. It may be just what they need to stay motivated. 

How will you keep your piano students motivated this year? Planning your fall piano lessons? What works for you? 

Do Kids Need a Break From Piano Lessons Too?

Do Kids Need a Break From Piano Lessons Too?

Vacation. It’s something each of us looks forward to each year. 

It’s a time to step away from the normal routines. It’s a time when you can leave your regular chores at home, and do something different for a bit. It gives you a chance to relax, unwind, and refresh yourself so you can jump back into life with more energy. 

While adults need time away from the regular routine of work, kids need a chance to kick back and take it easy as well. They may have several weeks off from school, but what about the rest of their normal routine? 

Your kids may enjoy playing the piano. And if they do, there’s no reason to stop them from playing. But would a vacation from the usual routine be good for them? 

Risks from taking too much time off

There’s always a debate on summer vacations away from school. Is several months off too long? The same concept can be applied to piano lessons. If you take extended time away from practice, you can:

Lose your skill – just as you’re mastering new concepts, you step away and forget the intricate details of what you’ve learned. 

Lose momentum – as you gain new techniques, it’s easier to apply it to new concepts and ideas. When you step away, you lose the ability to push forward. 

Weaken memory – playing every day and practicing regularly works your memory muscle. When you take away the routine, you break the habit and fall into new routines. 

When kids take too much time away from their practice, they are more likely never to return. The catch-up process can be difficult at best. 

Change the routine instead

For many parents that want to continue to push their child into music, they look for different routines rather than letting music lessons fall to the wayside. 

How can you take a break from the regular routine, yet leave piano an active part of your lives?

Change the structure of the lessons – lessons might be short events after school. Why not make them longer events in the morning? Or change locations for something new?

How about group lessons – check with your current instructor – is there a way your child can play with a larger group for more variety? This may even be a summer camp or other activity that allows them to experience music in a new way. 

Change it up – while your child might get into more music theory during school sessions, maybe vacation time is a time to play something fun. Does your child have special requests? Have they been asking for specific songs? Find it and build those into the routine. 

How have you kept piano lessons in your routine, even when you’re on a break? Do you step away from piano lessons regularly? How do you get back into the routine? 

Easy Tips For Teaching Piano From Your Home

Easy Tips For Teaching Piano From Your Home

Many of the top businesses in the world started from a kitchen table at home. 

If you’ve been dreaming of teaching piano, why not make your dream come true, right from the privacy of your own home? Whether you wish to grow it into one of the top notch music studios in your community, or want to keep it small and make a part time living with your instruction, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. 

Start with the dream. Write it down on paper. Think big … or keep it small. Project out a year, two years, even five years down the road. Where do you see yourself? Because part of success starts with knowing where your ending point is, and backing up to put the pieces together to make your dreams come true. 

Then get started by teaching piano from your home. Discover what you enjoy, what clients you’re good with, and what works for you. Use this to grow as you move forward. 

And use these tips to make the process a little easier. 

Set up a professional studio inside your home

Even if you’re teaching from home, you still are a business. People come expecting a high quality service. Make sure you have a neat and tidy workstation for every student who comes into your home. The right first impression sets the stage for expectations from every student you have. It should be a quiet place where you both can concentrate without interruption. 

Ensure you have the right equipment

If you’re teaching piano, it goes without saying that you’ll need a high quality piano that sounds great to the ear. Besides that, you’ll need a good computer or tablet, a fast internet connection that can stream videos and other teaching tools. You’ll need music stands, music, and other specific instruments depending on how you’ll teach. You’ll also need the appropriate system to invoice your clients, and produce content you’ll be sharing with your customers.

Create realistic payment terms

The reason most home businesses stay at home is they never think like a business. Creating a healthy business means getting paid for the work you do. You can start by looking at how other instructional studios make money, then use that as your guide. Asking students to pay in blocks of five, ten, or even twenty lessons at a time is an easy way to get your students to commit to longer terms, You can also offer different options and plans – how about both individual and group lessons? Be sure to review these and make changes as necessary at least once per year. 

Create a cancellation policy

If a student has already purchased a plan, and started working their way through the classes, expecting a full refund shouldn’t be a part of the procedure. You’ll have an easier time enforcing the rules if you create a cancellation policy first, and hand it out in your original member’s terms welcome packet. This way you both understand how the process works in every situation. 

Promotion

If you want to grow your business, you’ll have to market it to bring in new customers. That means you’ll need a solid marketing plan in place. Marketing is something every business works at for the life of the business – it’s always necessary to be bringing in new customers to replace the ones that move away. Create time in your calendar each week to perform the necessary steps to keep a steady flow of customers coming through your door. 

What other tips have you learned as you’re creating your own piano teaching business at home? 

How To Create a Successful Piano Teaching Business

How To Create a Successful Piano Teaching Business

If you’ve loved playing the piano, you might be thinking of sharing that love with people around you. Opening up a piano teaching business may seem like a lot of fun. You’ll get to be around music all day, and you’ll share your love of the piano with everyone who walks in. 

But creating a successful piano teaching business isn’t just about playing the piano. It will also allow you to grow entrepreneurial skills, and become better at operating a business. 

If that seems scary, take a deep breath and read on. Entrepreneurship has a learning curve just like everything else. It’ll give you a chance to learn something new while being able to do what you love. That’s a win/win. 

Before you begin, you can do a few things that will give you an edge over the competition. It’ll also provide you with strength as a new entrepreneur. 

Start by writing out a plan

If you jump into the business world, you’ll quickly learn that successful piano studios create a business plan to help lead the way. Don’t be intimidated by it. It’s easier than you think, and it doesn’t have to over complicated. Write out why you’re in the business, what you hope to accomplish, and your value is to the community. Start small, and grow your plan as you learn. 

Create a teaching space

In order to create a piano studio, you’ll need space. The more official you make the space, the more likely you’ll believe it’s an actual business, not just a hobby. If your home is set up to give you that space, it may be the right choice initially. You can also look to community music schools, local schools, colleges, rec centers, and churches that are willing to rent out space. Will you need to invest in a new piano? Be sure to get one that works well for the level of instruction you’ll be offering. 

Marketing, marketing, marketing

This will be one of the biggest hurdles you’ll face, especially in the beginning. It’s important to get the word out about your new business, and connect with potential clients as well as people willing to refer you. Consider making a website no matter how simple you begin. You can place calendars, schedules, tips and more on your site to connect on a deeper level with your students. 

Set rates

Sales are one of the most important parts of operating a successful piano teaching business. Without a profit, you won’t stay in business. Pay attention to how much you’ll charge for lessons, and base your fee on what you’ll need to grow. Will you offer private lessons? Group lessons? Will students come to you, or will you travel to them? Will you sell supplies, like workbooks and music? Be sure you’re able to cover monthly expenses, including paying yourself at the end of the month. 

Create a student success goal

What do you hope to provide to each student who comes through your door? If you plan for it, you can share it with prospects before they sign up with you. This also helps keep you positive about what you’re doing when you hit snags in the road. If you keep your goal in mind, you’ll make it through no matter what happens each day. This also gives you a chance to create lesson plans to help your students succeed, and gives you goals and trackers to ensure you become good at helping your students. 

If you’ve started a piano teaching business, what advice would you give others just starting? 

What You Should Know Before Signing Up For Piano Lessons

What You Should Know Before Signing Up For Piano Lessons

Are you contemplating what hobbies to sign up for? Are you looking to give your kids the gift of music?

Every activity needs an initial investment before you begin. But for some, the idea of starting up piano lessons can be a little scary. 

You need a piano, but what kind? Will any keyboard do? 

We’re happy to share a little advice with you. 

Piano or Keyboard?

You can find keyboards in a lot of places these days. Are they worth the investment? Before you hand over even just a few hundred dollars, it’s advisable to spend a little time learning more about pianos. 

The main difference is sound. If you choose the wrong keyboard, it won’t have a high quality sound. That means no matter how much you or your child put into the learning process, they’ll never achieve a good sound. 

That builds frustration, when you can never produce a song the way it was intended. You’ll have a greater chance of abandoning your goal of learning to play because the playability just doesn’t feel right. 

Keys

Acoustic pianos – the more traditional piano – uses weighted keys. If you’ve ever played a song on a more conventional piano, watch how the keys spring into action. There’s a slight give to the way the keys are played. 

Depending on how a less expensive keyboard is produced, it may not have that same functionality. That means skills won’t be transferable from one piano to the next. It also means you might not be able to play a song as it was written. Maybe a key is too heavy for a young learner to use. 

Traditional manufacturers create 88 keys in proper proportion, to ensure you get the appropriate sound from every note on the keyboard. They also ensure the touch feels the same, to give you a skill you can use for the rest of your life. 

Music

From your very first lesson, it isn’t all about the notes and the sound. You’ll also be learning valuable information about reading music, technique, and musical theory. In order to fully understand each of these lessons, it’s important to have the proper equipment in order to complete your practice. 

Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to duplicate the lesson when you get home. If you have any questions about the process, you can learn a lot from an instructor. 

Are you ready for piano lessons?

Before you take your first class, spend some time learning more about the process. A good piano will ensure you lots of years of enjoyment, and give you the right tool to enjoy the process. 

Will this be the year you learn to play the piano? 

It Takes Years To Learn To Play The Piano

It Takes Years To Learn To Play The Piano

Wouldn’t it be great if you could sit down at the piano and play a song? 

The good news is: you can. The piano is one of the most unique instruments in that we have an innate ability to hunt and peck, press the keys, and play something that resembles a song. We can make “music” the very first time we touch the keys. 

However, it’s also an instrument that can take a lifetime to learn. 

As a piano player, you start out simple. As you add to your knowledge base, your concept of music grows. Ultimately, how fast you learn depends on several things:

Your practice time – how much time you give to learning your new skill. While it’s typical for a beginner to practice 30 minutes a day, it also depends on what you achieve during that 30 minutes. Banging out the same song over and over won’t help you improve. It takes focus and concentration to work your way up to becoming a better player. 

Your lesson time – in most cases, players spend time with an instructor once per week, often just 30 to 60 minutes at a time. In group sessions, you’ll share the time with other players. Even in one on one classes, you’ll have to spend part of the time reviewing your process rather than diving into new things. The amount of training you get per week varies greatly. 

Your desire – many piano players start out with a strong desire. But if you don’t see the results you were hoping for, your attention can move to other things. That can penalize you and change the track you’re on for growth. If you hope to make piano a part of your life forever, you have to learn to enjoy the process at every stage of your ability. 

Mindset is everything. 

Piano playing is more than a hobby. It can be a lifestyle if you allow it. 

Instead of expecting rapid change, enjoy the process. Play because you love to make music. Play because it relaxes you after a difficult day. Play because you hope to enjoy it for life. 

Can Piano Apps and Software Be As Good As Piano Lessons?

Can Piano Apps and Software Be As Good As Piano Lessons?

This is the year many of us are looking for a new hobby. Does that mean this will be the year you finally start playing the piano?

Yet we’re also still dealing with the aftermath of a pandemic. We spend more time than ever at home. Many local businesses don’t offer services in a commercial setting. More and more businesses are creating virtual options. 

What about piano lessons? Can you learn piano from piano apps you’ll find online? Do you need one on one instruction from a teacher sitting next to you? Is virtual really an option? 

Glad you asked. Here’s our take on learning piano. 

Piano apps provide convenience

Let’s start with the biggest reason why people love online learning – convenience. And when you invest in piano software, convenience is the number one benefit. 

No more driving to a thirty minute lesson, dropping your child off, and having to waste a little time while they play. Piano apps allow you to sit down at your convenience, get your daily practice in, and jump right into your next routine. 

With most piano apps, you’ll find they can be adaptable based on your needs. You can change the way you learn, have options that suit your tastes and needs, and be able to practice in a timeframe that suits your needs. Want to practice at 6 am? Or maybe sit down while everyone else is asleep? That’s no longer a problem – an app allows you to do it all on your time – anytime. 

Piano apps provide options

This is something worth mentioning again. Everyone learns differently, at their own pace, and in their own way. 

Using a piano teacher provides a more structured environment. 

We’re not saying working with a piano teacher is bad – it’s actually quite beneficial for you to work through problems with the way you play that technology will never pick up on. But we do feel there are many options available to help you learn in a way that suits you best. 

Working with technology can give you the ability to:

  • Select from hundreds of songs
  • Track your progress
  • Practice anytime you desire
  • Keep costs low – piano apps are often available with a one-time fee

Piano apps are only beginning to grow in popularity. With technology advancing at the speed it is, it’s a matter of time before we find even more benefits to using it to help you perfect your piano playing, and find ways to fit it into your life even more. 

Why You Should Be Working With a Piano Teacher

Why You Should Be Working With a Piano Teacher

There are many hobbies you can teach yourself. Want to knit? Watch a tutorial on YouTube. Want to bake? Pick up a cookbook and work your way through it. 

But learning the piano is different. It takes a lifetime to master. And even if you think you’re sitting down at the piano, doing everything right, you could develop habits that hinder more than help. 

Of course, there are many ways to go about working with a piano teacher. We’ll cover those more in a minute. But let’s start with a few reasons for how a piano teacher can help you become a better piano player. 

Prevent bad habits

Did you know there’s a right way to place your hands on the keyboard? Or how to sit at the piano bench? Or how to place your hands on the keyboard? Now let’s talk about reading music; are you putting emphasis where it belongs? A piano teacher’s job includes a variety of things, including observing to stop bad habits before they become ingrained in your actions. Your learning will be more effective, and you’ll notice a big difference in the way you play the piano. 

Accountability

Sometimes having someone hold you accountable for your actions is all you need to push yourself to put in the time it takes to practice. They can help you set goals, and achieve results. 

Learn something new

You don’t know what you don’t know. A highly skilled piano teacher can give you a variety of ways to make improvements in your daily playing. Because they are better at playing and have more advanced knowledge, they have ideas that can help transform your playing. 

Answers to your questions

What does this mean? Why does that happen? How can I make this better? No matter what hobby you’re bringing into your life, there are always questions that go along with the practice sessions. Having a piano teacher by your side gives you a chance to ask the questions and get an answer that helps you improve your skill. 

Increase your commitment

When you have “skin in the game,” you’re more likely to stick with it. Working with a piano teacher might just give you the added motivation you need to stick with it. Piano teachers aren’t a “one size fits all.” If you don’t gel with one, try other teachers out. Also, look at different opportunities; you can take classes in different ways. 

  • Work one on one
  • Take group lessons
  • Work with a teacher in person
  • Work with a teacher online
  • Join a band or orchestra 
  • Watch videos and attend online music theory classes 

The more commitment you give your new hobby, the more results you’ll see throughout.