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5 guidelines for practicing piano at home

1. Establish a practice routine early in the year. Try to maintain the same time every day. Choose a time which will not conflict with other routines or enjoyable activities. Example: immediately after school is usually not the best; Children need some exercise or play time. In the morning, before school, works very well for many families or try just before dinner.

2.Try to locate your piano to the center of activity in the home. Children usually like to know that someone is listening. Wherever possible, don't have the piano in the same room as the TV!

3. Most teachers suggest a minimum of 5days of practice per week. The length of the session will depend on the age of the child and the length of their attention span. Try breaking up the practice into two short sessions.(30-30 minutes). Sometimes it is best to practice each song 5-6 times focusing on problem spots instead of looking ot the clock.

4. Don't hesitate to use "motivators" at home. Few children will be able to maintain their initial level of enthusiasm for a whole year. Practice charts and stickers work very well for many families. Try using praise when you can.

5. Parents are encouraged to maintain a basic level of competence at the piano, especially during the first year of lessons. During this critical time your example and positive attitude mean so much to your child's development. In fact, many parents get so excited they decide to take piano lessons for themselves. It's never too late!