Music Practice Port Macquarie

It takes a lot of support from adults for students to achieve a HSC worthy level. If you are new to music as a parent, the different language and all the options can seem overwhelming and confusing. However, even if you don’t understand the dots on the page, as an adult you have a range of skills that will help the student.

The thing you can help most with is organisation. Together, you can find and read the student’s assignments for the week in their Google document. This is best the evening of or day after their lesson, rather than being left until the night before the next lesson! If they are young enough to need a bit of help still, you can sit with them, or close by them. You can remind them of the ways they have learnt to fix troublesome spots, and be their cheer leader when they need extra support and encouragement. You can build practice into their daily routine—this is crucial and probably one of the biggest helps in achieving their music goals.

You can also work on getting them the tools they need to make their playing effective. Although I believe wholeheartedly that music education should be available to all, it is certain that quality instruments and equipment do help students to achieve their goals faster, more easily, and with less frustration. There are differences of opinion amongst teachers as to the value of digital versus acoustic instruments. A quality digital keyboard is better choice than a poor acoustic instrument, but a lower end keyboard is probably less useful than either. Good quality instruments are expensive, but it is worth considering the long-term value, both to the student and for resale. You will not be able to recoup any investment from a cheap keyboard. The more expensive digital pianos will both sound and feel better, encourage better technique, and they sell very quickly on online marketplaces. Please don’t think from this that I am against acoustics—I love them, but I realise that most people have neither space nor money for them!

In addition to the keyboard, it’s worth considering the seat. A piano bench is usually adjustable, meaning the height can be raised or lowered to suit the student’s growth. Even different adults will require a different height of seat in order to keep their wrists at the best and safest angle to the keyboard. If you can’t change the seat height, consider if you can change the stand for your keyboard, or find a stable way of raising or lowering the chair (cushions are slippery). Try to use a flat, stable chair rather than an adjustable office chair. If their feet can’t reach the floor, you can either buy purpose built pedal extenders, use a cheap footstool, or even a pile of books (out of date encyclopedias are great, and op shops don’t accept them any more as a general rule).

This will help your child to get the most out of their music lessons and, in turn, make sure you get the best value music instruction. If you’re in the Mid North Coast area, speak to me personally if you need more advice about finding the most supportive environment for music lessons in Port Macquarie.

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