1) Make sure you actually have time to practice!
If you are overscheduled with all kinds of other activities, you will not have the time or energy to
practice and will not achieve much benefit from piano lessons!  Parents:  Please consider limiting
your child's extracurricular activities to no more than one other thing besides piano (Just piano
would be ideal, from my perspective…)

Set aside a particular time of day, and make it part of your routine (i.e. early in the
morning, right after dinner, etc) For children, multiple short sessions can often be more effective
than long, tiring ones.

Ideally, it's great if you can play the piano every day, even if it’s just for a few
. Young beginners can start with just 10 or 15 minutes a day, then gradually increase
the time, or the number of short practice sessions.  (This actually happens naturally, as the
pieces become more challenging and take longer to learn, and the child becomes more mature
and more focused.)  

As a general guideline,  intermediate students should try to practice at least ½ hr
per day 5 days a week
.  Advanced students will typically practice longer, but may be busier
and unable to fit in 5 days.  I prefer not to emphasize the amount of time—but rather the quality
of practice. Things to watch out for:  Is the student following the suggestions I have written down
for them?   Are they working out "trouble spots" or just playing the piece through mindlessly
making the same mistakes?

Parents: Sit down at the piano and go over the assignment with your child at least a
couple of times a week and offer praise and positive reinforcement
. With young
children, it's great if the parent is able to make this a daily ritual.  Check to make sure your child
gets through the entire assignment during the course of the week (including the written work)—
although not necessarily in each practice session.

Parents: If you play piano or another instrument yourself, sit down once in awhile
and play—or sing!
 Attend concerts with your child of whatever kinds of music you enjoy.  
Demonstrate actively for your child that music making is an enjoyable activity.  
Adults--go out
and hear some live music.  Discover what kind of music draws you.  Think about what
you would like to learn musically.

7) Share your music with others!  I encourage and support memorization of pieces--so that if
you find yourself in a situation with a piano and no music, you can sit down and play.  Play for
your friends, for family and holiday gatherings and sing-a-longs, or at church.  Let me know if
there are pieces you would like to learn for these kinds of situations.  (Maybe "Happy Birthday"?)

Call or email me with any questions at all.  If you live close by and run into "technical
difficulties" with practicing, you can even stop by for five minutes and I'll help you work through it!
Practice Tips