When it comes to the piano, there is no yes or no, there is only ‘Wow’. However, getting students and particularly kids to practice piano is a difficult task. It requires proper guidance and an excellent teaching method.
For the teachers and parents, the number one struggle is always helping kids have constant and effective piano practice. We all want our kids to rush to the piano to practice without being reminded. However, it is really complicated; distractions are everywhere.
Furthermore, every student is different. If one strategy or teaching method is working for one student, it doesn’t mean it will motivate the other student too.
Now the question is, what can you do when it feels like you have tried every teaching method already and the students are still not practicing or progressing on their instrument?
Here are some brilliant ideas for increasing motivation among students.
They will motivate students and especially children to practice piano more productively and happily.
Is There Any Practice Competition?
Every student has a competitive spirit, and as a teacher or parent, you can challenge it. When they have a challenge and they know there is a reward after it, their strong competitive spirit is always willing to do the work to get it.
The competition can be designed in any way.
For example, ‘Most Practices In A Week’ or ‘Top 3 Students On A Weekend’. It is your job to compile the results and create an interesting scoreboard with marks that nobody ignores.
A well-organized competition like this will compel the students to practice like maniacs. Moreover, the rewards and fabulous prizes to the winner will ignite their passion even more.
Give Them Material That Is Challenging
The goal should be challenging enough for them to want to master. If it would be too easy, they will lose interest and have command on it rather quickly. The main goal is to push them to spend as much time as they can with the piano to comprehend all its notes.
But it doesn’t mean the songs should be too hard either.
If the song or the goal is too hard and they won’t be able to succeed in it, they will lose interest and think that piano lessons aren’t for them. They will either give up or practice one part over and over with dissuasion.
Give Them Genuine Praise
Every piano student should know whatever they are doing is having a positive impact.
Therefore, giving them genuine, enthusiastic praise is important.
Students become demoralized when they don’t receive any kind of praise from their teachers or parents. It is imperative to let them know over and over that you value their efforts and their skills have started mesmerizing you.
Even if some part of the lesson is difficult for them, with true and constructive praise, they will try their best to overcome that obstacle to transcend your expectations more.
Praise also builds a good relationship and rapport with students. Kind and motivating words from you always go a long way. Just ensure that your praise is appropriate and not false. False praise won’t give them the motivation they need; they will indeed start questioning your motives.
Promote Creative Activities
Let them use their own mind too; introduce and promote creative music activities.
As a teacher, it is your job also to nurture their creativity at the crucial age of learning. Don’t push them to study and learn the old, boring lessons time and time again. This will sign the death warrants of their interest and kill their passion for the music.
The goal is to make your piano lessons more creative and engaging, and it can be done in a few simple and fun ways.
- Push them to come up with their own music.
- Split students into pairs or small groups for the competition.
- Introduce flashcards for visual clarity and games.
- Watch their favorite movies and copy the background soundtrack.
- Turn a low pitch song to a high pitch track.
Introducing these fun, creative activities make students pay full attention to the class and learn the lessons quickly. They love to spend time with you more and more.
Celebrate Their Achievements
Tracking and celebrating small achievements with students to enhance their motivation.
However, in order to do that, record their progress to appreciate their small wins. The celebration is something which they can do alone or share with you as well.
In class, we can celebrate the small achievement in many ways, such as:
- Write down the success level and put it where everyone can see it.
- Sharing the news with friends, other teachers, and parents.
- Supporting other students in achieving the same goals.
- Thanking everyone who supported and encouraged to achieve their goals.
- Writing the success story.
- Taking a day off from the class
- Starting the next successful journey.
Bear in mind, to get more out of celebration, it is important to do it at once after reaching accomplishment. This is the only way to make it easier for them to practicing and pushing to reach large-scale future goals.
Stage-Level Performance Opportunities
Give them the opportunity to feel like a professional musician.
This helps tremendously.
Particularly, in the classroom, this strategy works like magic. Regular stage level performance keeps them motivated and makes them feel like a superstar. Though, remember that we are talking about low-stress performance opportunities which they can practice comfortably.
The simple way to do that is to ask them which piece is their favorite and ask them to play it for the class or for their parents.
This compels them to practice enthusiastically and improves their playing style on a massive scale to impress others. This activity is also quite fun and imaginative for them.
These are some brilliant ways to get piano students to practice.
If you have tried everything you can think of and the student is still not interested in the piano lessons, it is time to say goodbye.
But as a teacher, do your best to make the parting smooth and consensual.