The question I would always hear when I was younger and taking piano lessons was “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” (big prestigious performing arts hall in New York). The answer would always be “Practice.. Practice.. Practice”. You may have heard this before or may have not. Piano practice, however, is not always easy in modern day life.
I am much more conservative and realistic about my approach to piano and I am not expecting my students to become concert pianists .. unless of course they want to be. I just want my students to practice so he or she will become better musicians.
In my studio I do have many students that have very good practice schedules and he or she will fit it in each day, at least 6 days per week. These are the students that I do not have to discuss practicing with, because I know it is being done. If the student is young the parent makes sure that their child sits down each day at the piano or keyboard and practices his or her assigned pieces.
These situations are of course the most desirable ones but are not always the norm. I almost always see great results with these students and they go on to become very skilled and wonderful piano-keyboard players.
I do, however, have students that practice very little if not at all. These students claim to really enjoy piano and their parents want them to continue with lessons regardless of the little practicing that is done. I know that I am not the only piano teacher with this issue.
When this happens I usually will have a discussion with the student, parent, or both to find out what the issue is. Most of the time the reason is as such: “Our days are so busy and we cannot find the time”.
Usually what I am hearing is that there is a lot of homework and a lot of other activities going on in the life of the student. I would definitely think that a 10 year old with 4 activities and increasing homework loads would have a hard time fitting it in. It makes total sense.
In addition, both parents may be working and some students do not get home until maybe 530 or 6 pm at night. This can also present practice time challenges as well.
My students also need to have recreational time to themselves as well after school by relaxing and unwinding. This is important for all of us. We all need time to relax and time to play. It clears our mind and helps us to relax.
The problem with finding the time to practice when we consider all of these things can present a challenge. It is a huge challenge because it is one of the strongest determining factors of student success at the piano-keyboard.
My solution to this is to tell students to work a bit more on time management skills. I also share this with the parent. Time management skills are skills that we all should have, especially in this day in age.Unfortunately, it can be tough to implement and can be easier said than done.
It is also my belief that with video games, smartphones, computers, and television that the student may be having too much of this “downtime” or relaxation time. Sometimes an hour or more can go by and the student is still on the same video game! It is easy with our technological devices to lose track of time.
Many of my students are on I-Pads while waiting for a sibling to begin his or her lesson. An older student will most definitely be on their phone. We all know how it goes now in 2015. Technology has infiltrated our lives and is here to stay.
I do not want to rant at all about technology because so much of it is good. After all you did find this website and are reading this post now. I am thankful for technology for your ability to find my website and to just have a website at all.
Technology is amazing and can be a great addition to our lives. And we most likely can never be bored anymore 🙂
The important thing is making the time and finding the time in a busy schedule to fit in practicing the piano or keyboard. If it is done consistent, daily, and in a focused way, practice will make us all better musicians.
So the answer to the question, or title of the post is this. Find the time, make the time, and you will be surprised how much time is still left in you or your child’s busy schedule.
With piano practice, becoming an incredibly good and skilled piano player can happen for almost anybody who is taking piano or keyboard lessons. I have seen it first hand! 🙂