If you haven’t seen it already, check out the first post in this series: The Name Game.
If you were to ask me as a piano teacher, “What is the one common denominator among happy, successful beginning piano students?”
The answer would be easy: “Parents who are involved with the child as they practice.”
It took about two weeks of being Hope’s piano teacher and her mom to realize, “Wow! This being the mom of a child taking piano lessons is hard work! The teachers have it way easier.”
My hat (that one that everyone carries around for the sole purpose of saluting) immediately went off to all the parents of my past students. They had been the ones responsible for their children’s accomplishments. With that little mental ceremony over, it was time to face reality: I wasn’t just a teacher any more, now I was a mom.
And with my sweet little Hope taking piano lessons, it was my job to help her practice.
Being your child’s teacher does not exclude you from being their mom during the week.
I now have to live up to the expectations that I placed on parents:
*Help your child practice every day
*Make sure they closely follow their given assignment
*Assist them with any theory work
*Be there to answer questions and give common sense guidance
It takes work to build a daily practice time into your already busy schedule. It was quite a challenge for me during those first few weeks. I would think, “I already did the lesson, now we have to practice, too?” Yes, you spoiled person; just like you made all those other people, now you have to practice, too.
Currently, she’s dying to practice every second of the day, so that makes things a little easier. I do try to not just put her off when it’s not a good time, but explain that we will do it later and then follow through with what I’ve said. Most of the time, practice happens while the little girls nap, and I sit right with her. Sometimes it happens when the others are awake, and I’m just barely supervising her work, and sometimes I let her practice by herself while the little girls get baths.
It’s quite the juggling act, but we’re determined to make it work.
And one more thing, it is hard to not jump back into that teacher mode during the week. I have discovered a few things that have been helpful, and I’ll share them next time!
Until then, thanks for reading!