Four Things Successful Piano Parents Do

When children begin piano lessons both their parents and their teacher hold the hope that the child will develop a love of music.  However, somewhere in the process despite a teacher’s attempts to provide motivating, age-appropriate materials some students quickly find piano lessons hard and begin to feel that they just don’t have what it takes to be good at music.  And this is a devastating outcome for both the student and the teacher because the benefits of music lessons are wide-ranging and impact children positively both academically and socially.

Often the missing link between children feeling confident and successful in lessons and disheartened is the support of their parents.  Learning the piano, in fact, learning any instrument takes time, dedication and lots of support.  It is one of the most difficult yet rewarding things a child can do.  Therefore, it is very important that parents become involved in the learning process.  Here are four ways you can help your child to be successful in piano lessons.

1. Provide your child with the resources they need to succeed.

You will be surprised at how many parents do not buy their child even a cheap keyboard when they first begin piano lessons.  Having access to the best quality instrument you can afford in a quiet inviting environment even before your child begins lessons critical to having a successful outcome for your child.  Along with the instrument is ensuring that you provide your child with the music books that your child’s teacher suggests in a timely manner so that they can enjoy making music in lessons and at home.

2. Create an environment that will develop good practice habits

Before your child begins piano lessons make sure that you have the time to devote to helping your child practice at home.  Ask yourself the following questions

  • Does my child have time in their daily schedule to fit in 30 minutes of practice?
  • Will I be available to my child should they need any help or company when they are practising?
  • If my child is struggling with a piece of music do I feel confident to communicate to their teacher and ask for ways in which I can help them at home?
  • Will I be able to help encourage your child to practice even on days they are feeling low on motivation?

3. Be your child’s support person

Learning to play the piano is both exciting and challenging,  supporting your child when things are hard by listening to their struggles and helping them to find solutions demonstrates to them that you are there for them and that you value their musical journey.  Celebrating their wins such as mastering a difficult piece of music, moving up method books or completing a graded examination helps your child to feel motivated in their practice sessions.

4. Attending your child’s piano concerts is a must

One of the most rewarding parts of learning an instrument is performing in front of others.  Helping your child prepare for and attend their recitals is one of the most important jobs a piano parent has.  It shows them that you prioritise their instrument learning and are eager to see them shine on stage.  Your excitement about their recital will flow onto them as they prepare.

You may be surprised to learn that research is now showing that the biggest determining factor in the success of a piano student is the support that a parent gives to their child in the early stages of learning.  As piano teachers we want your child to love learning the piano and at Hope Performing Arts Centre we have created programs that are child-centred, engaging and supportive of the parent’s role in their child’s musical development.  With resources for parents like instructional videos for the first 5 lessons, and easy-to-understand method books that can be shared at home together, our lessons are designed to help your child succeed and develop their love of music.  

Find out more about our piano lessons today by booking a complimentary first lesson with us today.  Simply fill in the form below and we will be in contact with you soon.

 

How much do music lessons cost in 2023?

When parents first start looking for music lessons for their children, they want to know how much it will cost them. I often hear questions like “how much do private piano lessons cost?”, “How much are group violin lessons?” “Can I get a good singing teacher for $20 a lesson?”

How much music lessons should cost is a simple question to answer. Every year the NSW Music Teachers Association posts its recommended minimum rates for teachers/music schools to charge.  

The rates for 2023 are as follows;

(please note that your child may have anywhere between 36 to 48 lessons in a year depending on the structure of the studio/teachers program)

$96 ($105.60 with GST included) per hour for a private one-on-one lesson. This equates to $48 ($52.80 with GST Included) for the standard beginner one on one 30-minute private instrumental lesson

Or

$130 ($143 with GST included) for a group based 1-hour lesson. This equates to $32.5 ($35.75 with GST) per child for a 1-hour group class with 4 children in the class.

NSW Music teachers association 2023 rates

The NSW MTA rates are the minimum you can expect to pay for instrumental lessons for your child in 2023. Some teachers charge significantly more than the MTA minimum recommended rates(some charge as much as $250 per hour). Some teachers charge less. When budgeting for and researching music lessons, you should use the MTA as a guide.  

On top of the lesson fees, you will also need to set aside money for books. Music method books cost anywhere between $100 – $300 a year. You will also need to purchase an instrument; the initial cost will be between $200 – $10000 depending on the instrument your child will be learning. Set aside time in your child’s first lesson with their teacher to discuss the options for purchasing your child’s first instrument.

Beware of cheap rates.

As mentioned, there are teachers whose rates are significantly less than the MTA recommended rate. Be wary of these rates. Teachers may undercharge for lessons for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons are listed below:

  • They are brand new to teaching, or they have limited skills in playing their instrument.  

  

  • They are new in the area. A seasoned teacher who has recently moved into an area may undercharge to build their profile. Once they have grown their reputation, they begin to raise their prices.
  • They teach as a hobby. Hobby teachers are often not interested in money. They usually have a small number of students that they work with on a casual basis. Some of these teachers take months off teaching to pursue other interests.

Getting a cheaper rate on lessons will not guarantee a bargain. If you are on a budget, consider getting your child into a high-quality group class program. These programs are a great way to start learning an instrument and often produce similar results to private lessons – particularly in the beginner stage.

Final Thoughts

There are often regional factors at play when teacher prices their lessons. Northern and inner suburbs of Sydney may charge much higher than the MTA rates. Western Sydney, South-West Sydney and regional areas can sometimes be slightly under the MTA rates.

Some teachers include extras in their rates. They may include books, extra classes (like theory classes) or online courses within their standard lesson rate. So these things need to be considered if you are comparing prices.  

As you begin your search for a piano, violin or guitar teacher in 2023 be aware that rates may vary. Teachers sometimes offer inclusions in their prices, including extra classes or books. 

Finally, when selecting a teacher for your child, the focus should be on finding a teacher that best fits your child and the musical outcomes that your desire for them. If you are currently looking for a piano, violin, singing, or guitar teacher for your child why not book a free trial at Hope Performing Arts Centre? Located in Prestons in South West Sydney. Click the button below to begin booking your free trial today.

Five Characteristics Kids Who Love Music Have In Common

Yesterday, Alison’s new piano books arrived at the studio, she was very excited. She joyfully turned each page, trying to pick the perfect piece to learn first. Alison, like many of the students who learn at Hope Performing Arts Centre fell in love with playing her instrument. Playing the piano regularly has become part of who she is and this brings great joy to her and her parents.

Alison possesses the five key characteristics of a child who will continue to play their instrument for their whole life. These five characteristics apply if your child is learning is piano, violin, guitar, singing or any other musical instrument. These five characteristics can be nurtured by teachers and parents and are the key to a child’s long term enjoyment of learning their instrument.

These five characteristics are:

 

Children who love playing music are driven by the Music.

Regardless of age, children who love music know what they want to learn to play. They regularly come to lessons with a list of pieces that they want to learn and this music inspires them to practice. Even when practice is difficult or repetitive, these musical children persevere and work on the activities set each week until they achieve the goals set for them. These students understand the link between practice and the joy they will feel when they can perform confidently for an audience. They are motivated by the joy that playing music for themselves and others brings them.

 

Children who love playing music explore or create new music regularly.

Students who love music are regularly exploring or creating new music. Many of them will have a growing library from which they can learn new pieces from.  They often choose to learn new music just for fun. (Many of these students try exploring music they are not quite technically ready for yet because they want to see if they can play it). For others, you will find a pile of handwritten manuscripts next to their instrument as they explore writing music and songs. These students are eager to share these treasured masterpieces with their teachers in lessons.

 

Children who love playing music listen to lots of music.

When children are allowed to immerse themselves in music, they begin to hear what is possible to play their instrument. Listening provides a platform for children to discover new styles of music, new pieces by a favourite composer or even a different way to interpret a piece that they are already learning. By listening widely to music children’s musical tastes grow, which motivates them to explore the wide variety of music that has been written for their instrument.

 

Children who love playing music attend live concerts.

Attending a live concert of a performer who is further along in their journey is a highly motivating experience for children. Children who love to play their instruments enjoy seeing performances of both their peers and professional musicians. Watching a musician play is often a child’s first experience of live music-making. It can lead to an interest in learning a particular instrument as a child gets to see, hear and feel music in a different way to just listening to music alone.  Live music provide a place where children can develop and emotional connection to a particular instrument.  This connection runs very deep and will drive children to work hard to achieve similar results when they are learning their instrument.

 

Children who love playing music seek out opportunities to play their instrument.

Kids who love playing their instruments, play their instruments regularly. They often seek out opportunities to play them outside of lessons and practice. For some children, this could be performing in studio concerts held by their instrumental teacher. For others, it could be joining a school/community band, orchestra or choir. It could even be taking part in community musical theatre. Some children – particularly those in their teen years form bands with other musicians just to have an opportunity to play their instrument. These shared musical experiences help children to grow their skills and confidence as musicians.

 

These five characteristics are crucial in developing young musicians who love playing their instruments. Good piano, violin, singing, or guitar teachers can help guide young students by providing a variety of musical resources and performing opportunities.   Supportive parents can help young children discover their musical passion through listening to music and attending live concerts together.  When children are provided with both of these resources, i.e. skilful teachers and supportive parents they tend to thrive and grow in their love for playing their instrument.

 

At HPAC our teachers who love teaching young children and passing on their musical skills to them. We also provide parents with resources to help them foster their child’s love of music at home. If you are interested in finding teachers who can help your child discover the joy of playing a musical instrument click on the button below.

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How long will it take my child to learn the piano?

How long will it take my child to learn the piano?

 

Recently I had a family visit our studio for a trial piano lesson. The trial went well; Mia played through several finger number pieces with ease; she even learned to play Mary Had a Little Lamb. At the end of the trial, Mia’s parents asked several questions about our program, including one of the most common questions many parents have. How long will it take to learn the piano?

Now this question is not so easy to answer. Many piano teachers will quickly point out that learning the piano takes years (10 to 15 years). However, is this really the answer to this question?

When Mia’s parents arrived at her first piano lesson they were not thinking about Mia receiving a bachelor of music or even completing her AMUSA. Mia’s parents wanted to know how long Mia would take to learn to play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Being six, I estimated that Mia would take about 12 lessons if she practised regularly.

As a parent, your goals or your child’s goals for learning the piano will, most likely, be different from Mia’s. When we take away the non-measurable aspects of learning the piano, such as developing a love of music or finding a fun activity for your child, having a specific, measurable goal keeps all parties focused. Your goal may be as simple as your five-year-old learning to read simple music and being able to play Old MacDonald. It could be that you would like your child to be able to have the skills they need to play in a band or an orchestra. It could also be that you would like your child to complete all of the AMEB grades. Each of these goals will take different lengths of time. Some may require mini-goals to keep your child focused.

The key here is to think about what you want your child to achieve before starting piano lessons and communicating this information to the teacher. Doing this in your child’s first lesson allows the teacher to create a specific learning plan for your child. It also provides a way to measure your child’s progress and keep them motivated when practising. Once your child has achieved this, you can reassess to see if they would like to continue their piano journey and set new goals.

Are you looking for piano lessons for your child? Do you have a clear goal in mind, or would you like us to help your child discover the joy of learning to play some of their favourite songs? Fill in the contact form below, and one of our team will contact you to set up a complimentary first piano lesson.

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Submitting this form will send a piano lesson enquiry to our office. We will contact you within 48 hours to arrange a trial lesson for your child.

Is my Child Ready for Piano Lessons?

When Maria brought her son Ryan to HPAC for his very first piano lesson, she could already see him filling their house with music. Ryan bounded into the piano room and popped straight up onto the piano bench; you could tell by the smile on his face that he couldn’t wait to get started. His little 3-year-old leg wiggled with excitement as I began to help him uncurl his tiny fingers from his clenched fists. It soon became apparent that Ryan did not yet have the finger independence or strength to begin learning the piano as older children do. We spent the lesson playing finger games that focused on strengthening his fingers and exploring the piano with improvised duets.

I could tell by the end of the lesson that mum was disappointed. She had hoped that after his first lesson, her little boy would be able to play at least one song, even if it was just Mary had a Little Lamb. However, this would not be the reality for little Ryan, at least not yet, and it is also not the reality for most little people under the age of 5. 

Should we wait until children are older, or are there steps parents can take to help them prepare their children and at the same time develop a love for music and the piano? I let my youngest child start lessons at four instead of waiting like his older siblings. However, I knew that he was well prepared and ready to tackle the demands of learning an instrument.

Parents wanting to get their child started early must prepare their child and have the time to support and nurture their child’s love of music in between lessons once they begin. You can start preparing your child for piano lessons in the following ways

Create a music-making environment at home

Regular shared family music experiences and free musical play are crucial to developing an environment at home that will encourage a love of music. Singing together as part of our children’s bedtime routine was one way we enjoyed music-making as a family. We also allowed our children to be noisy and explore ways to create music through play-based and structured activities. Our house also had many real instruments for our children to explore, which led them to find the instrument they wanted to learn.

See Live Performances Regularly

Seeing live child-friendly concerts helps to expose children to the different sounds and ways instruments can be played. It is often during these concerts that young children fall in love with a particular instrument. The Metropolitan Orchestra’s Cushion Concerts and The Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Family shows are great environments for young children to explore instruments for the first time.

Attend pre-instrumental classes

Parents often overlook pre-instrumental classes who want their child to learn an instrument at a young age. These classes, however, are an important step in the journey toward starting piano lessons. Many parents believe these classes are just a fun preschool activity for which their child is too big. However, these classes are precisely what young developing musicians need. The activities in these classes are created to develop musical and physical skills necessary for instrumental readiness.

If your child is not already in music classes check out Hope Performing Arts Centres Mini Musicians classes 

Mini Musicians Classes

How to Choose an After-School Activity for your Child

As parents, we want them to thrive, find their passions and feel confident in who they are. As a mum of six, three of whom are now adults, after-school activities became a big part of helping them discover what they were good at and what they loved doing. Like many parents, I allowed my first two children to try lots of different activities, which led to my eldest child being over-committed as she never wanted to quit anything, and my second eldest wondered if he would be good at anything. Over time I discovered three principles that helped me as a parent guide our children into activities that they would be successful at and would love. 

Principle 1: Let your child’s natural curiosity guide you.

Children are great at telling us what they love. When we spend a little time in their world, it is easy to see who they are and their interests. Is your child constantly outside kicking a ball around? Do they prefer to pull out pencils and draw? Are they always singing and dancing? 

Even as young as two, I was able to see what my children were gravitating to most often. My eldest was fascinated by music. Her great grandfather would often play the violin for her; she was mesmerised by it. She graduated from university with a bachelor of performance and still sings regularly and derives great joy from music. At three, my second eldest was a fish, and he taught himself to swim across our backyard pool. Even though we didn’t immediately recognise his love of water, he thrived once he began formal swimming lessons. Eventually, he ended up in a swimming squad, training four days and week and competing on weekends. He still enjoys swimming and goes to the pool regularly to keep fit.  

Once I began observing my children, I started to see them and was able to help guide them towards activities that would help them grow their skills and grit.

Principle 2: Be part of their interests

In the movie Inside Out, there is a scene where Joy and Sadness are re-living one of Riley’s memories. In the scene, we see Riley in a tree crying; she wants to quit playing ice hockey because she missed the winning shot causing her team to lose the game. Her parents step in to comfort and support her, and they help her see the bigger picture and encourage her to remember all the good times she played ice hockey.

Throughout the movie, Riley’s parents put time and effort into helping her find and grow her love of ice hockey. We see them practising with her and cheering her on from the sidelines. This level of support and interest in their hobbies is what most children need from their parents to be successful. 

The younger a child is, the more motivated they are to stick at something when their parent invests in being part of that hobby. In practice, this could look like a parent being the coach of their child’s soccer team, or doing the make-up for a dance competition, or sitting with their child while practising the piano. I know that my sons continued playing soccer far longer than their interest level simply because their dad was the coach, and they wanted to hang out with dad.

Principle 3 – Consider the cost

Children who develop a passion for a particular sport, musical instrument or any other hobby will be spending the best part of 10 – 15 years learning and refining that skill. It will cost money and time for your child to reach their potential. Parents need to consider these costs and research their options before enrolling their child in an activity. 

When I started using these three principles to help guide my children into afterschool activities, the following happened;

  1. My children were less overloaded with activities and had more space and time to develop those skills there were learning in class at home. 
  2. My children continued these activities into adulthood and developed the skill of persevering past the hard stuff (Grit).
  3. We spent less money on activities for them to “try out” things which allowed us to find high-quality teachers and coaches for the things they did want to do.

Helping our children discover their talents and grow to reach their full potential is one of the most rewarding experiences as a parent. When we know our children well and can fully support who they are, we get to see them thrive. Choosing high-quality after-school activities for them at a young age can provide years of fulfilment for you and your child.

If you think that your child may have a passion for music and you want to get them started on developing their skills, Hope Performing Arts Centre has a range of music classes and private instrumental lessons (including piano, violin and voice lessons) that are age-appropriate and engaging. To find out how you can get your child started or for more information about our classes, fill in our contact form below and one of our team will be in contact with you within the next 48 hours.


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Oops, I forgot how to play that – How to help your child beat the forgetting curve.

Last week my nine year old forgot to pack his lunch box in his bag for school. It’s been a while since he has done that, so I quickly jumped in the car and drove it up to the school so that he would have something to eat for lunch.

It wasn’t always that rare for him; as a matter of fact, all my children forgot things during their early years of school. They forgot hats, lunch boxes, drink bottles, jumpers etc. and the result often meant lost items at school and money spent replacing things. Eventually, with our encouragement, our children developed routines and habits that meant less and less forgetting. Now it is infrequent in our house for something to be forgotten.

As teachers, we experience the same thing in lessons. “I forgot where my hands go Mrs, Collyer?” – “Let’s take a look at your music and work it out” is my reply, and together we begin to review our notes and finger numbers and to work out our hand position on the piano. Forgetting hand positions, forgetting notes on the stave, forgetting to hold minims and semibreves, forgetting what the dynamic means etc., are very common among beginner piano students. Forgetting things is very common for many children, and there is a huge reason why – the forgetting curve.

The forgetting curve, created by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus is a visual representation of how we forget learned information over time. It is interesting to note that within 24 hours of learning, we forget 70% of what we learned, and within 7 days, we have only retained about 10% of what we learned the week prior. It is no wonder young pianists can’t remember where middle C is, or the young violinist forgets how to hold the bow correctly.

But there is hope. Extending on his research Ebbinghaus discovered an essential key to remembering. If put in place, this key helps to maintain new knowledge learned, beating the forgetting curve.

The key to beating the forgetting curve is regularly reviewing newly learned material in regular intervals throughout the week. In doing this, students can retain 80 to 90% of the information learned in the previous week. Just three review sessions a week on days one, three and six after your child’s lesson will do wonders for helping them to retain and master material learned in their instrumental lessons.

One of the biggest reasons your child’s instrumental teacher is always talking about practice is because they know it is the biggest key to your child’s success. Outside of finding a great teacher and using age-appropriate engaging resources for your child, establishing a practice routine with your child at home from their very first lesson will bring your child many hours of joyful music-making and will help them to progress quickly and confidently through each stage of instrumental learning.

The Power of Sight-Reading

Lisa comes to lessons every week very excited to show me what she has learned.  Listen to me first, she exclaims in piano class, hoping this week she has finally mastered that piece.  As I listen to her piece, I bite my tongue as she plays,  pausing at every second bar, corrects every 7th note, and the rhythm is just non-existent.  At the end of her performance, we begin making corrections; we play it through slowly counting,  we read the notes in rhythm, we mirror play, and I deploy a whole other host of strategies until the piece is close to perfect.   Then it is written in the book for another week of practice in hopes that a week of practice will bring it back perfect.

This scenario is common,  all too common. To have a student come and sit at the piano bench and stare at their music with a blank expression on their face, or phrases like I don’t know where my hands go, or this music is really hard or some other comment that conveys the child’s confusion with the music.  Even worse is the attempt to play the piece with note reading mistakes played as confidently as a concert pianist.  I often ask myself,  how did this bright full of potential student get to this point?  I know the answer; no, it’s not a lack of practice or technique or even a lack of good teaching.  Rather it is more often than not a mismatch in a child’s sightreading ability and their current learning level.

We know that reading music is essential to any musician.  It is what guides home practice and is the key that unlocks our ability to learn music at a faster pace and to be able to create and pass on music to others. However, sightreading is regularly a skill we cram to learn in the weeks preceding exams. However, without time or thought is put into developing this skill, many students ability to read music at sight is very poor. Nevertheless, developing sightreading skills can become one of the most enjoyable parts of a students practice sessions.

What is Sightreading?

Sightreading is the ability to play through a piece of music effortlessly without (or with few) rhythmic and pitch errors that you have never seen before.  At Hope Performing Arts Centre, we often call a students’ sightreading level their functioning level.  It is a level at which the pieces are easy enough to play and enjoy without the need for too much thinking.

Being able to sightread allows students to enjoy playing music in much the same way someone would enjoy reading a book. Just like reading books, the more a student sightreads, the better they become and the more pleasure they derive from making music. 

Most students, however, skip over the sightreading just to get their practice done. Because of this, their sightreading skills suffer and fall further and further behind their learning level, making it harder for them to learn more difficult repertoire. 

What level should my child be sightreading at?

For students who are just beginning to learn a musical instrument, their sightreading level should be close to what they were working on in the previous lesson. For beginner students who practice daily, this is generally achievable.  

As students’ progress out of primer method books and into level one and two, they should be able to read anything at the primer level with ease and be progress towards fluently sightreading the new notes and rhythms introduced in their current method books within a few weeks of learning them.

Once students reach their first examination, it is essential that they can play fluently; the different note/hand positions on their instruments that they have learnt up to this point and are beginning to read melodic (harmonically as well for pianists) intervals and chords at sight.  At this point, it is necessary for students to have an understanding of music theory as reading music becomes increasingly complex.

Below is a chart outlining the ideal minimum sightreading level for students up to grade 4.

How can my child get better at sightreading?

If you notice that your child is struggling to learn new music, it is often because their sightreading skills are too low.  One of the best ways to begin improving sightreading is to have your child reading through pieces from an earlier method book at their sightreading level for 5 to 10 minutes every day.  If you are not sure what your child’s sightreading level is, ask their instrumental teacher. They will be more than happy to provide you with the information along with suggestions of pieces/books your child can sightread through. 

For some children using flashcards can also be helpful (particularly in the very early method books) in building their confidence with the note names.  There are several great ways to use flashcards for developing confidence with sightreading; I will be sharing these is a follow-up post in the future.

At Hope Performing Arts Centre, we regularly provide supplementary material to help our students improve their sightreading.  Check out their practice diaries and book bags to see what exciting material your child has to read through at home this week.

Once your child is sightreading regularly, you will find them picking up past pieces or new easy pieces to play for enjoyment.  The more they play through new music at sight, the better they will get at sightreading and overtime, this will improve their ability to learn pieces of music at their method or grade level faster.

The Benefits of Piano Lessons for Young Children

Learning to play the piano has brought joy to many children all over the world.  It is one of the most accessible instruments for young children to learn and the study of the piano has long ranging benefits that will help your child both as a future musician and a learner.

  1.  Develops fine motor skills

Many children in the 5 – 8 year old age range are still learning to co-ordinate pencil control and finger independence.  Learning the piano helps children to discover how to use each finger separately and their fingers are strengthened as they use them to play pieces on a regular basis.  Developing good finger independence helps children with their pencil grip, scissor grip and writing skills.

  • Develops aural skills

Learning an instrument or being involved in music classes from a young age helps young children to develop their ear.  Learning to discriminate between different sounds, pitches and rhythms are part of the basis for developing speech. Learning the piano helps to further develop these skills, along with helping children develop the aural skills necessary for becoming a good musician. 

  • Builds Confidence

Children who learn the piano at a young age often feel more confident with their musical skills, even if they go on to learn another instrument later in life.  At the ages of 5 – 8, children are still exploring the world through play, and learning to play the piano in a way that fosters their exploring spirit enables children to build lifelong musical pathways in the brain that are transferable to other instruments.  Having these musical pathways helps children, as they grow and learn more about music, to be confident music-makers who love learning and playing music

  • Develops young children’s internal reward system

Recent research is showing that children who are internally motivated have more positive learning outcomes.  Learning an instrument at a young age in an environment that encourages positive interactions with the piano and with music helps children to develop their inner motivation.  As children learn to focus on and understand music, their desire to know and make more music grows.  They become motivated not by external rewards like stickers or the teacher’s praise but by their own love of music.  As children develop this love of music, most parents find that their children are very eager to practice at home.

  • Develops Creativity.

The younger a child is when they learn the piano, the more creative lessons are.  At the ages of 5 – 8, children still love to create things and are often eager to show what they have done.  Piano lessons at this age often include elements of creativity such as writing finger number tunes and adding their own dynamics or ending to the piece of music. By fostering these creative elements so young, children go on to understand music theory, and its purpose for understanding how to play their instrument, better.  Allowing students to be creative in lessons also helps them to discover the capabilities of the piano for themselves, which re-enforces their technical and musical skills on the piano.

We have worked with numerous young pianists at Hope Performing Arts Centre, and each one of them is thriving as they learn to play some of their favourite songs on the piano. Our “Piano Prodigies” program has been designed for children aged 5 to 8 years to help little pianists get the most out of piano lessons in a way that is playful and fun while still enabling them to progress at the same rate as their older peers.  For more details about this program click here